Muslims and the Destiny of America

Most Muslim events are held in anonymous rooms in suburban hotels, silently sending the message that American Muslims ought not … Continued

Most Muslim events are held in anonymous rooms in suburban hotels, silently sending the message that American Muslims ought not concern themselves with the great issues of our time and place. Much of the talk is about the old days in other places – Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, the Palestinian territories. Most of the talkers are aging men with long beards (“uncles”, we call them), first generation immigrants who tell long stories about pure places far away. Their identities were formed in those settings. Their memories of other times on distant shores are sweet.

And who can blame them? Every immigrant community – Jews, Italians, Irish, Chinese, Mexicans, Poles, Russians, Indians – knows this story. Who hasn’t heard granddad’s tales of the homeland?

In this narrative, America is a place to make a living. But to truly make a life, to genuinely follow your faith? For that, you have to be elsewhere.

The Zaytuna Institute – America’s first Muslim seminary – believes that both America and Islam will be poorer if American Muslims continue that narrative. So for their recent event in Chicago they chose a location which told a very different story – the magnificent Museum of Science and Industry, just blocks away from the University of Chicago. The message was clear – Muslims need to place themselves at the heart of what is happening here and now, to conceive of themselves as citizens who contribute to matters at the center of things, not people who pass through on the margins.

In other words, it is time for the narrative to shift. American Muslims can no longer see themselves as primarily an immigrant group. We have to see ourselves as a community indigenous to America, a contributing member of a pluralist society.

It is a story that has the added benefit of being true. A significant number of the African slaves brought to America’s shores were Muslim. (See Unity Productions excellent film A Prince Among Slaves). Approximately 25 % of the American Muslim community today is African American, not immigrant, and includes some (actually, most) of American Islam’s most prominent members – Congressman Keith Ellison, comedian Dave Chappelle, hip hop artist Mos Def, and former boxer Muhammad Ali. And the children of the immigrant generation are coming of age, taking our places in professional life, buying homes, raising our own children. We have no dreams of returning to India or Indonesia. We are American. And Muslim.

The mantra of the Zaytuna event was ‘creating an indigenous Islam’. The main program was the presentation of awards to Imam W.D. Muhammad, Dr. Umar Abd-Allah and the staff of the Inner City Muslim Action Network.

Each one, in powerful ways, embodies American Islam.

Imam Muhammad courageously broke with his father Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, and created a community now called The Mosque Cares based on traditional Sunni Muslim teaching that counts the majority of African American Muslims as members. Muslims today who speak of an “American Islam” are adding a chapter to a book that Imam Muhammad started, and which most immigrant Muslims ignored when they came to this country.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Umar Adb-Allah said that it was Imam Muhammad’s legacy that he was continuing in his own scholarship about American Islam. “It is this generation’s responsibility to indigenize Islam in America,” he told an audience of young Muslim professionals of all races and ethnicities. “The next generation will either build on our successes or be the victims of our failures.” Dr. Umar’s article Islam and the Cultural Imperative is a seminal work of scholarship on indigenizing Islam in America.

The mission and staff members of the Inner City Muslim Action Network provided the perfect image of this American Islam. White, black, Arab and Asian; covered and uncovered; PhD students and high school dropouts; hip hop artists and corporate lawyers (and one guy, Capital D, who is both!) – all making the Muslim goal of being a mercy upon humankind a reality through their grassroots work on the Southwest Side of Chicago.

In his closing address, Shaykh Hamza spoke of Muslims and America’s Destiny. He cited the range of American groups who had found themselves on the margins – African Americans, Jews, Irish Catholics. Each group had to struggle for their place. What made the struggle particularly American is that each community realized that its freedom, equality and dignity rested on an America where everyone had those privileges.

“It’s the Muslims turn now,” Shaykh Hamza told the audience. “It is the historical destiny of this community to help realize the historical destiny of America.”

If it comes true, it will be a story worthy of the principles of America. And the principles of Islam.

About

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know, I think America can do without the, “Inheritors, Vanguards of Cosmic Nebula-Built Holy EARTH, aka Geoid, Gaia, Tellus-ng something :” crowd cluttering up forums with lengthy, incomprehensible, poorly spelled and worse grammer postings.There’s absolutely nothing wrong with muslims in America, as long as they are a part of America, and not the whole. You can’t bake a cake with only one ingredient. You can’t make the best nation in the world with only one race, one religion, one sex, one age, one country of origin, and one career field. If you think that there is nothing of value in the religion of Islam, then you are too woefully ignorant to have an opinion about it.

  • Eric W.

    The United States needs more Muslims about as much as Arizona needs more uneducated Mexicans.Why invite people into our country who’s children may turn on us? (as in Britain).The potential harm to our country far outweighs the potential benefits.I don’t know many people who want to see more headscarfs or burquas around…

  • candide

    Most of what westerners find strange and offputting in Islam is the middle eastern clothing and foreign ways. But the religion if looked at objectively is much less superstitious, much more rational, and very much like do-good liberal Protestantism and Judaism. Underneath the strange language and dress is a religion not very unusual at all.

  • Garak

    America needs more conservatard trailer trash like Eric W the way we need another 9/11. But at least he took time from his cross burning to read the article.

  • Anonymous

    I do not want Allah in my country. His evil works are seen around the world. I pray the Muslim people would see the deceiver Allah for what he is and leave Islam.

  • FRIEND

    Remember when the pro basketball player, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, wouldn’t stand for the national anthem?Hakeem Olajuwon, the star center for the then two-time defending N.B.A. champion Houston Rockets, said that the Koran teaches respect for the customs and traditions in whichever country one lives. “It’s tough for me to understand his position,” Olajuwon said of Abdul-Rauf’s stance, “but in general the Muslim teaching is to obey and respect. To be a good Muslim is to be a good citizen.”

  • Athena

    I see that Eboo has brought the haters out in full force. Kudos to my favorite Cardassian tailor, Garak, for calling one out. My grandfather immigrated here from Germany after WWI. He faced a lot of discrimination, especially during WWII. (He never joined the Bund, but knew people that had.) I’m sure that he got the same crap from people like Eric when he came to America. But two of his three sons fought the Germans in WWII. (My dad wasn’t old enough, and was in Korea.)The point is that we NEED the Muslims in this country to help us fight Islamic jihadism. We need people that are fluent in Arabic and other languages, that understand the culture, etc. We need Muslims that owe their allegiance to America in order to win the hearts and minds of those that hate America.

  • Porzitsku

    American Muslims – that sounds nice, but in reality is a pipe dream of Mr. Patel and others. An American would instantly reject Sharia as anathema to the US Constitution, and not set up separate religious courts in the shadow of our national capitol to circumvent American law. If such a court were present, the American would not give it legitimacy, and would probably report it (or sue it).Neither can a Muslim embrace their American identity without rejecting Islam and its inherent double standards, prejudice and discriminatory rules and foundations that are paramount in the Islamic world today. Not to mention its law system that is, frankly, just plain unfair and discriminatory.One thing that YOU can do, is cease to perpetrate on Americans the falsehood that Islam is merely another peaceful religion and as transparent as glass. Ah, but you can’t stop the propaganda, can you? As a muslim male you must contribute to establishing the caliphate in any way you can, is it not true? God bless you!

  • Jo

    This is a very uplifting read. Keep reporting on things like this and perhaps hate born of ignorance will slowly begin to disappear. To my Muslim brothers and sisters, from a Christian woman–you are welcome here.

  • Arminius

    Athena, Garak, Victoria,Thanks for your hugely decent posts. The world needs more like you, and like Mr Patel.Meanwhile, the bigots have indeed gathered, the trailer trash are screaming, the idiots (JJ) have escaped from their padded cells. God help America, and the world.Arminius

  • Kenneth

    I don’t hate Muslims, I just think they United States would be better off with as few as possible.If nation-states have the right to decide who settles within its borders, than we should exercise the right of not having a large population of Muslims.The results of large Muslim populations in France (riots) and Britian (subway bombings) are too obvious.

  • Kenneth

    I don’t hate Muslims, I just think they United States would be better off with as few as possible.If nation-states have the right to decide who settles within its borders, than we should exercise the right of not having a large population of Muslims.The results of large Muslim populations in France (riots) and Britain (subway bombings) are too obvious.

  • VICTORIA

    hi folks- just popping in to trade apple pie recipes with athena….

  • faithfulservant3

    I don’t disagree with much that is in this article–it’s just all too superficial. The author says the right words, but I don’t get a sense of his soul or deep sincerity.What about encouraging muslims born here of immigrant parents, as well as those who come here to study and seek greener pastures, to make the sacrifice and return to India, Indonesia or wherever because their people and their countries need them?

  • VICTORIA

    what about people like me faithfulservant? i have too many mixed nationalities to be able to go back anywhere- besides my father and his father’s father’s father’s father’s etc etc etc…were born in the good ole usa- fought in all her wars too- shall i go back to milwaukee? or pittsburgh?

  • Observer

    Candide who had in an earlier post denied being a Muslim says: Less superstitious than other religions? Does that mean there are superstitions that outdo talking ants and trees etc. Or ones that have entities more weird than the Jinn and angels with thousand wings. Or religions that dream of things more outlandish than rivers of wine with virgins reclined along its banks, with preteen boys serving drinks to the believers as they are cavorting with the black-eyed creatures of perpetual virginity.

  • anon

    Allah is the arabic word for “god.” So Anonymous #1, you’re basically saying you don’t want god in your country. Good work. I think right now is a hard time for Muslim Americans. Most Muslims immigrated in the 70s and 80s, and had kids then, so its only now where the true first generation Americans are old enough to make a difference (like me, I’m 25). Sadly, because we have religious parents, we are restricted and limited in what we want to believe in and what we actually believe. Its going to take OUR children, another whole generation, to feel comfortable enough to stand out and feel like they are finally American. So give it another 20 years, we’ll see some progress. Hopefully.

  • candide

    I guess we should be grateful for the Muslims. It is no longer polite to attack Jews. Muslims, that’s ok.

  • Cletus

    I think a step in the right direction would be to pray to Allah to stop kicking God’s *ss in Iraq. It’s downright embarrasing that God is so worthless at battlefield tactics. First Buddah in Vietnam, now this? He did make a bit of a comeback in Gulf War I, though.

  • Anonymous

    candide:I guess we should be grateful for the Muslims. It is no longer polite to attack Jews. Muslims, that’s ok.June 16, 2008 7:17 PMThat coming from one who has been zealously attacking Christians and Christianity on several threads of this forum is a bit much. An understatement really.

  • VICTORIA

    i didn’t know that dave chapelle had become a muslim- the mother of the rabbi told a story about how, when her son was very sick- she took the future imam and his little brother to see him in the hospital- (they are african american- pertinent to the story) and the nurse blocked the boys entrance saying only family was allowed in- the mother told her the boys were her sons- when the nurse looked incredulous the younger borther quipped, “haven’t you ever seen different strokes lady?” the younger brothers name? dave chapelle-

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Eboo says:”If it (realizing the historical destiny of America) comes true, it will be a story worthy of the principles of America. And the principles of Islam.”This is the root of the problem as I see it; the incompatibility of the principles of Islam with those of America.

  • testing

    testing

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Eboo saysIf it (realizing the historical destiny of America) comes true, it will be a story worthy of the principles of America. And the principles of Islam.This is the root of the problem as I see it; the incompatibility of the principles of Islam with those of America.

  • Kenneth

    That’s exactly what the West needs… is more Muslims.

  • Athena

    The point that I was trying to make by talking about my grandfather is that the German immigrant experience in the early 20th century is similar to the Middle Eastern immigrant in the 21st century. BTW, not all Muslims are of Middle Eastern origin, and they don’t all hate America.

  • Anonymous

    An American Islam that fully embraces human rights and dignity, abides totally by the values of the American Constitution is the way to go!

  • Anonymous

    It would require ignoring certain verses in the Quran.

  • Rachael

    I don’t understand why America even needs Muslims, we’ve done pretty well without them.Most Muslim-Americans likely consider themselves Muslims first, and Americans second.Also, their religion is pretty darn ridiculous, its almost as laughable as Christianity.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Muslims globally need to chant the following:”Until the koran is deflawed, the mosques are “febrezed” and the Sunnis and Shiites are pacified, no one is safe !!!!”

  • convert’s opinion

    Anonymous: I thank you for that thoughtful statement and honor that you are a new and unknown voice here (and not me talking to myself as little Miss Delusions suggests)Anyway on to more serious matters rather than mindless babble. The kind of Islam that you honor and I honor exists, I have seen it in action and tried as best I can to be an example of this. There are many fine books that explain the compatibility of Islam and Democracy and many decent and sincere Muslims out there who wish to see such an ideology in full bloom. If this is something academically of interest to you, I would recommend the writings Of Muqtedar Khan and the writings of Tarek Fateh of Canada who bravely places himself often in harms way to oppose the aggressive Wahhabi cult. Also, Dr. Soroush has written a fine book called “Reason, Freedom and Democracy in Islam.Those of us who are activists for this ideal believe that if we are genuinely people of faith that we don’t have to lie about our religion. We readily admit that Jihad in most cases does refer to what Christians call “Holy War,” but such verses must be placed in their historical context where conquering was the way of the world. Look at Alexander the Great for instance. He is generally regarded as a hero, yet he was a conqueror as was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Not fair to demonize one and extoll the other. This was the nature of the age. So just as Christians now ignore the verses advocating violence in the Bible and now think of their religion as a religion of love based upon Prophet Jesus’ (PBUH)And as for you Mr. Mahfouz. I enjoy dialogue with you as you are clearly intelligent and well-informed. We may differ on some points but I welcome the debate.BTW, I knew a lovely lovely Lady at my Mosque named Betty (Badia) Mahfouz. She has since returned to her Creator, But I loved her dearly and she looked after me when i was new to the Mosque. Are you any relation?

  • Pierre JC

    The Muslims of this planet have made their position clear.

  • AMH

    Victoria;

  • convert’s opinion

    Mr. Mahfouz, I shared your same concerns at one point that the Shariah promoters really had a chance of getting over on the US government, but our intelligence organizations are not as incompetent as many suppose. They knew as far back as the late 60′s what the MB was up to. They know that Muslim Brotherhood, MWL, OIC, CAIR, MSA, MAS, ISNA are all one in the same anti-American organization with a treasonous agenda. Although these groups are still active, I think they are pretty much exposed and the US government has or is taking necessary precaution to protect itself from this Shariah business. They tried to have Shariah made legitimate in Canada and Bless-their-hearts, the Muslim Progressive did a fine job of defeating the Shariah proposal. This set an excellent precedent.I do look forward to an age when Muslims in America have earned back the trust of the American community by putting this Shariah nonsense to bed, once and for all. We progressives are getting the courage to oppose the extremists and as more of us “come out” there are more who feel safe to join us. No doubt, the Brotherhood is a threatening and dangerous organization, much like the Mafia, but I do think our US government knows exactly now what groups are pulling the strings and how to put up safeguards up against their treasonous agenda.

  • Garak

    Pierre JC:Iranians demonstrated in sympathy with the US shortly after 9/11. Iranian leaders condemned the 9/11 attacks. Muslims leaders around the world did the same. Other Muslims living in dictatorships maintained by the US did the same. It was on the network news and in the newspapers.Yet the conservatards ignore this. They keep their heads up their sphincters, listening to Rush Limbaugh Drug Radio, Fox Propaganda, and the all the neocon marketing orgs masquerading as “think tanks.” They keep spouting the same neocon lies and disinformation. If you keep your conservatard head up your consveratard sphincter, all you see is the fruit of the conservatard intellectual movement. Lies, disinformation, propaganda, willful delusion, and fantasy.Just like how we got suckered into Vietraq. Muslims hate America, not just American policies. Saddam had nukes hidden in his pants.

  • Latest Blessings of Allah

    50 civlians blown up at a market in Iraq4 Shiites blown up in NW PakistanAll policemen blown up and 870 prisoners released in AfghanistanA Saudi woman arrested for driving a car in Saudi Arabia (birthplace of prophet who respected women)….

  • Anonymous

    Like it or not there is a political at least a potential political element embedded in Islam. Allegiance to the values of the American Constitution must be made consciously by every American Muslim. How Sharia Law will be interpreted in the American situation must be publicly acknowledged.

  • outlawtorn103

    I forgot to throw in various Biblical and Koranic verses to illustrate my point.

  • Anonymous

    The only community indigenous to America are the native Americans once known as Red IndiansWhite settlers built the modern country

  • GeorgiaSon

    It’s time once more for the five questions, the ones that take us to the core of Islam in America. Their relevance now goes far beyond their substance. What makes them more relevant than ever is the fact that neither Eboo nor any other Muslim has dared to answer them. Look at what is considered orthodox Islam by its most authoritative voices. Now, I would like to pose five questions to those authorities:1. Does Islam allow for the separation of church and state?(Instead of posing the questions to the authoritative voices of Islam, imagine the question was, “What would Islamic textbooks used in the teaching of Muslim students in America say in answer to the following questions?”)Dare you, Eboo: Tell us. What do you believe the most authoritative voices of Islam would answer in reply to those five questions. Or what answers would you find in an Islamic textbook?The answers to those questions would put an end to any idea that there is some debate among Muslims over the future of their religion. Or whether even orthodox Islam can be accommodated to a Western liberal, pluralistic society.Here’s my bet: By the time this thread plays out, neither Eboo or any other Muslim will have dared to answer those questions.

  • Blessings of Allah on Washington DC

    The principal of Saudi Academy near DC arrested and charged with not reporting child abuse. He ignored a 5 year old’s complaint that her father was sexually abusing her ( I wonder if that had anything to do with Aisha).Same Academy also has text books that calls non-Muslims infidels and derogatory terms.

  • Ted Baines

    The Christian God Jesus is not the same as the Muslim god Allah. Jesus was all about love and forgiveness.Allah recommends wife beating.The twain shall never meeeeeeeet.

  • Ted Baines

    VictoriaKing Abdullah should also give back half of Saudi Arabia to the Jews. This is land that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, stole from them. King Abdullah should also recompense the Jews for the amount that Muhammad got after selling the Jewish widows and orphans into slavery. For example he and his thugs slaughtered 800 Jews in one night and then sold the widows and orphans.My estimate is that with interest the amount is 10 trillion dollars.

  • Harveyh5

    Eboo,Note your comment: “What made the struggle particularly American is that each community realized that its freedom, equality and dignity rested on an America where everyone had those privileges.” A very secular statement. Such ideals result from Thomas Jefferson and other fathers of our country recognizing universal truths independent of religion. You also write, quoting Shaykh Hamza, “It’s the Muslims turn now. It is the historical destiny of this community to help realize the historical destiny of America.” You conclude, “If it comes true, it will be a story worthy of the principles of America. And the principles of Islam.” If the priniciples of Islam help Muslims get there, well and good. However, that doesn’t quite alleviate concerns regarding those Muslims who follow the other, contrary, and less desirable, principles of Islam, dispersed throughout the Koran.

  • Asim, San Antonio

    Eboo,Ted Baines,See http://WWW.PALNDS.ORG for facts on the PAlestine tragedy.I have personally and on this forum summed up a number of times the treachery of the jewish tribes of Banu Qurizah who were full-fledged citizens of Medina on the basis of the Medina Document صحيفة المدينةauthored by the Prophet after his Hijra from Mecca c.623AD;when the enemies of the Prophet threatned the very existence of the infant Muslim community,the jewish tribes-who were allies of the Prophet according to the Medina Document-suddenly swithed sides in opposition to the Prophet but the Muslims won the day;therefater the jewish tribes as citizens of Medina were brought to trail before a court for their treahery which was presided over by a judge chosen by the jews(Saad ben Muath who was a friend and ally of these tribes)as would in our times a jewsih citizen of the US stands trail such as Jonathan Pollard the spy or Ben Qadish lately;the judge ruled the exceution of the traitors of the state of which they were citizens and exiled the rest so they never have the chance again to undermine or stab the Muslim community in the back again.Of course there was no powerful jewish lobby-AIPAC-in Medina to cover up the treachery of these jewish tribes and justcie had to served. TEd Baines,So for u repeat your lies about stolen jewish land in Medina is an insult to the intelligence of the readers on this form;besides why do not u ask your cousins in the racist apartheid jewish militaristic theocracy to return all of historic Arab PAlestine to the Palestinians which it stole from them in full day light and also ask them to return the six million Palestinian refugees it ethnically cleanesed in 1947/8;there were 12,000 tweleve thousand jews in PAlestine in 1882-now there are six million in PAlestine-where did they come from and whose land are they living????? There is no need for a jewish state on some one else’s land-after all there is a jewish state in New York with six million jews.

  • Asim, San Antonio

    cncrned the Un-christian,Just be concerned about your mind which is playing tricks on u-all the time.

  • Abe

    Is there a difference between the Muslim Allah and the Christian God?After all, the Quran and the Bible has many things in common.

  • Anonymous

    Abe:Is there a difference between the Muslim Allah and the Christian God?After all, the Quran and the Bible has many things in common.June 17, 2008 7:05 AMThere is only one God and different namesDifferences are based on what each religion believes God wants them to doWhat the Quran and Bible have in common does not create problemsThe points they differ on is the root of the problemJihadRights of womenAttitude towards non-believers of AllahSome aspects of Sharia LawPunishment for apostacy, theft, adultery

  • Roy

    Neochristians why decry Muslims inability to be in harmony with the Constitution need to look at themselves in the mirror including their seditionist Huckabee who would overthrow the Constitution to replace it with their twisted Leviticus-cherry-picking definition of “God’s standards” (except verse 19:33, of course)

  • convert’s opinion

    GiorgiasonI don’t claim to be your “expert,” but I can offer some insight into the opinions of various leaders in the Muslim world and in North America.Actually hope IS on the horizon and The Aga Khan of the Ismaili’s is leading the way. I am not an Ismaili like Eboo Patel but maybe I should be as I hold his Aga Khan in great esteem as one of Islam’s most promising leaders in terms of pluralism and reform. I am not certain, but you might be surprised by the Aga Khan’s answer’s to your 5 questions.Also there is a wonderful leader in India who promotes separation of church and state named Asghar Ali Engineer. You can find his essays readily on the internet. He has even withstood being beaten up by a mob to promote his future vision for Islam.I have known within my own community more than 1 family where a Muslim man married a Christian woman and allowed their children freedom of choice. The children were exposed to both religions.In America, I don’t think any apostate need fear for their life, Even some Al-Azhar Imams have stated apostates should MOT be killed. Only in barbaric places like Saudi Arabia and Taliban districts must apostates fear.As for freedom of speech and publication, I have confidence that both the Dutch and Americans will uphold this right. Irshad Manji and Ayan Hirsi Ali still live and breathe.And ABE – Yes God and Allah (Christian Arabs pray to Allah too as it is the Arabic word for God) are one and the same. The Qur’an states that it came to CONFIRM the messages of the earlier Prophets to the Arab people and all people really. Abraham, Moses Jesus and other Prophets (Peace be upon them ALL) are highly extolled in the Qur’an and Mary (Mother of Jesus is considered the purest of all women ever to live.

  • ZZim

    Great story, Eboo.

  • convert’s opinion

    Please have some faith in us.Muslims who promote Democracy and sincere honesty with all others are coming to the fore.In our group are specialists in every area of your concern working towards a truly open and pluralistic Islam.We have seen the lies of the liars and felt ashamed. We are people of honesty and integrity who will regain the trust of the world, a trust that has been broken by extremist and the MB underground. We are not blaming others for the disgrace brought on by the deceivers. We recognize that our problem is within and we aim to address this problem. One day these Salafi/Wahabi/Taliban sympathizers will be the disgrace of the Muslim world for dragging Islam into its filth. We will restore the good reputation of a noble religion.Before the ISNA/NAIT invasion of my Mosque, I knew a very well assimulated community who loved this country dearly and proudly displayed the American flag in the social hall. When the ISNA invasion came, they ripped the American flag down. This is what ISNA is really about and Muslims should be very cautious not to legitimize these deceivers.

  • Blessings

    Blessings of Allah are on Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran….and more than 50 other intolerant, expansionist Muslim nations.USA certainly can do without Allah’s and Mohammed’s blessings.

  • Jesus Bless Saudi Arabia

    I wonder what would happen to Eboo Patel if he went to Saudi Arabia and made this statement? After all, he claims Mohammed and Islam are very tolerant and compassionate.

  • Anonymous

    Athena,Muslims hate your freedom of speech you have no clue.

  • Anonymous

    I do not want Allah in my country. His evil works are seen around the world. I pray the Muslim people would see the deceiver Allah for what he is and leave Islam.

  • Ibrahim Mahfouz

    Victoria:I had quoted the verses below minus the line inside brackets.”O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.( but if ye ask about things when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, God will forgive those: for God is oft-forgiving, most Merciful.). Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.” (Surah 5:101-102). The misrepresentation that Victoria refers to is the missing line(between brackets). I normally copy Quran verses from the copy I have, which is translated by Abdullah Yousif Ali. This time I copied the (Q5:101-102) from a Muslim website. I did not add or subtract from it. Later I found that it is Q5:104-105 in my copy instead of the above reference and there is a missing line. I apologize for not authenticating the full text and the number before quoting it. Yet nevertheless I do not see that the missing line had drastically changed the gist of the message. Maybe that is why it was “skipped ” in the first place.

  • VICTORIA

    Saudi King extends invite to Jews for interfaith meetSaudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has sent an invitation to the World Jewish Congress for an interfaith dialogue with Muslim and Christian leaders, Haaretz has learned.While the date and location of the meeting has not been announced, sources have told Haaretz that King Abdullah seeks to hold the meet in Saudi Arabia, no small feat as the country is ruled by Islamic Sharia law and currently does not allow the entry of holders of Israeli passports or those whose passports bear entry visas from Israel. The country also bans all non-Muslim prayer in public.WJC President Ronald Lauder issued a statement Monday saying that “despite all the obstacles that may still be in the way, King Abdullah’s initiative is a laudable step forward. We hope that other religious leaders and political leaders throughout the world will be encouraged to join.”

  • VICTORIA

    is it a solution? no, but it is a start- the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…

  • Mohammed

    Good article. I wish everyone who read this article, and the vast students of American history would understand the depth and contribution of WD Mohammed. Mark my words….WD Mohammed scholarship, lifelong moderation (before others came along post 9/11) and strong American values but distinctly overlooked should and will be marked down in the history books. I am in awe of this man. Truly, we should listen to his words and balanced teachings that have transcended the science, religion, politics, buisness, etc.I would encourage individuals to read more about this rational and intellectual giant of a man. He breaks down the ceremonial ritualism of the East that captivates so many, and gives a spiritual message of truth, justice and equality.

  • VICTORIA

    mr mahfouz- it is not seemly that you deliberately misrepresent text and build egregious arguments from them- “O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.” (Surah 5:101-102). the actual passage reads: “O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. but if ye ask about things when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, God will forgive those: for God is oft-forgiving, most Merciful.. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith.” (Surah 5:101-102). what motivates you to spend your good time in trying to defame other peoples?

  • Anonymous

    Dear Mr. Patel,I love your optimism, but aren’t you aware of what is happening in the greater world. The OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference is meeting (arranged by the Ikhwan’s MWL Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia right now to form a collective strategy on how to intimidate Americans and pressure all countries to punish anyone who insults the prophet or Islam in any way, shape or form. They are trying to blackmail the US into silence and accost our right to freedom of speech.OIC, MWL, MD, ISNA have set up this system where Saudi’s control what goes on in American Mosques by remote control. American mosques should be AMERICAN mosques not SAUDI mosques. The very fact that they need a strategy (IE: more Brotherhood propaganda) to interact with the US in “bridging the divide” is bogus and reveals their black-hearted methodology. Honest people engage in interfaith dialogue from the heart. They are genuine and sincere and they most certainly DON’T look for a unified strategy to approach “the other” in sincerity. Everything to these Saudi-Joes and their corrupt Brotherhood cohorts is about propaganda and trying to CONTROL or BLACKMAIL others into outcomes that suit their devious agenda (ie: their stinking & brutal shariah law).”Slip it into the Us subtlety and quietly,” they say. “Have Sabr” – patience – do it so slowly that the Americans don’t see we’re slipping one over on them and sneaking our shariah in bit by bit.I swear, finding a sincere and honest Muslim is like looking for a needle in a haystack. They need to abandon this corrupt Brotherhood agenda and CONTRIBUTE to America. What in the world have Muslims brought but their thin-skinned whiny Islamophobia bogus nonsense. CAIR is so corrupt that they have STAGED hate crimes against themselves just so they can claim discrimination falsely because the truth is America is a tolerant country and we’ve put up with so much deceptive crap from people who lie like dogs.Gosh – is there a sincere honest Muslim out there who is not operating on mindless Saudi remote-control? If there is, we welcome you with open arms. But please let us know you are out there.

  • DoTheRightThing

    Eboo Patel wrote, “If it comes true, it will be a story worthy of the principles of America.” It is now and will always be as true as each individual is willing to LIVE IT. As long as the immigrant doesn’t live in a make-believe world of “the old country” and lives a life committed to contributing positive values, beliefs, and work to making the United States a better place for EVERYONE to live, the dream has come true. The immigrant should NEVER EVEN CONSIDER the false worldview of victimhood – it has destroyed millions of African-American, American-Indian, and Hispanic-American lives.

  • Anonymous

    The poor, disadvantaged or greedy can be bought with money to be propaganda machines for destructive ideas. Be on your guard then.

  • Anonymous

    nice try what jacob?

  • Anonymous

    Concerned The Christian Now Liberated: X 3

  • bedevi

    Is America a stable enviroment for Moslems to form a “culture”?!

  • Buraki

    If I was an Israeli, who is important to me Moslems in US or Indonesia? If I’m an Israeli whose arm is constantly attack women and children I must be worried from all sorts of Moslems. Let’s say I’m visiting a country which loves Israel like Turkey in which Moslems from all over the world vist, whom should I watch Moslem Americans, Indonesians..???

  • Asim, San Antonio

    Apostate (from what? we don’t really care because the big guy upstairs will have a word with u-soooner or later).U can not refute the truth and u can not refute facts;just because u say u refuted them as such does not mean a thing-thou u ceratinly tried hard to sound like u know what u are talking about-u don’t.I stand by every fact I stated and I will keep repeating them to alleviate the unfortunate but real high level of ignorance of and the unjustified hatred for Islam and Muslims.

  • Akyol Kerhanci

    To BurakiIf I were an Israeli, I would watch out Egypitans.Ohter Moslems aren’t really important. I work for Israelis in Turkey.I know that Egyptians were the only poeple who reached Israel and killed Israelis during the past wars. Other Arabs only make shows…you know..the moslem land and the other thing. But please when you visit Turkey feel at ease. You are in your second home….

  • aussiebarry

    that last post was not anon I forgot to put name

  • Asim, San Antonio

    Baines,Peace will prevail in Palestine ONLY when all imported jews/illegal aliens who landed in Palestine on or before 1897-who are well advised to go back to where they come from .sooner rather than later..peacefully…they will have to depart as the Romans, Byzantines,Crusaders,Brits have will be evicted…all the same.The racist jewish entity is no more than a pump on the road…like apartheid nuclear armed white south africa..isreal will vanish into oblivion..the jews could set up a state in Germany as a compensation for the alleged six million jews gased by the nazi’s…or better yet just join the alraedy existing and prosperous jewish state in New York.No place for alien jews in Arab historic Palestine which was settled by Canannite Arabs over five thousand yeras ago…long before there were a jewish race….Alien jews are not welocme in Arab Palestine…they have to reliquish the land they stole from the Palestinians in 1947/8 and 1967 who were murdered and continue to be murdered by the jews for past sixty yeras…hundreds of thousands of them..because they are asking for their stolen land back…they did not commit any treason as the 800 jews did in the city of the Prophet and received the justice they deserved for their treason.It was a jewish women who poisned the Prophet with a roasted poisned sheep…Allah the Almighty alerted him of the treahery and hastened to spit out as soon he tasted it….If the US was not controlled by AIPAC,the jewsih spies-Jonthan Polard and Ben Qadish-would have already been excuted for their treason…many others will be discovered in time spying on the US for the only “democrcay”in the ME!!!!!!!

  • HMMM

    AsimDoesn’t it strike you as hypocritical that the Palestinians can (supposedly) tell the Jews to “go back to where they came from,” but when Americans site the treacherous intent of the MB who have likewise betrayed Americans, we shouldn’t be able to tell the Muslims to “go back to where they came from.”People don’t really own the land as they so think, they merely utilize it from the brief period between birth and death. Reasonable people would say that wherever people are, we need to raise levels of trust and cooperation so life can move forward peacefully.Most people think Muslims are petty and ridiculous to bring calls of Islamophobia against anybody since Muslims condone the teaching of hatred of Jews to even small children. This is what makes Muslims seem barbaric and hypocritical to the rest of the world. It’s OK for Muslims to act like hateful pigs but not for anyone else to act that way. What a bizarre hypocritical notion and that is why most of the world views Muslims as deceitful, hateful, hypocritical idiots. It’s not our prejudice or bigotry that makes people feel that way, its the way Muslims think they can get over on the world with their idiotic behavior. And the OIC is just stupid to try to shut the West up as simmering quiet hateful of a stupid people is far more lethal and dangerous than open hatred. So we will continue to express how ignorant the Muslims calling for a double standard is. If they don’t want to be hated and despised, then they’d better stop hating and despising others. No one respects the Muslim people anymore but their behavior is hypocritical and just plain deceitful.

  • Arlene

    Asim is a typical example of why the West fears Islam and considers it a lethal threat. Unfortunately there are millions of bloody, hateful Islamic radicals waiting for their chance to strike. As long as there are Asims in this world, there will no peace. They are the 21st century Nazis.

  • GeorgiaSon

    REPLY TO: CONVERT’S OPINIONThank you for your lucid and rational response to my comment. You and Muslims like you are obviously coming to grips with the issue of Islam in the modern world and its ability to integrate with liberal democratic societies. I wish you success.I have to note that, unfortunately, the rest of the world may not be able to wait until whatever reformist trends are underway in Islam bear fruit. History moves quickly, much quicker than a hidebound religious hierarchy can respond. Meanwhile, the next generation of Muslims is right now being taught in the old ways. Can people like you leapfrog this cycle and create overnight a new generation of Muslims who understand liberal democracy and how to integrate with it? The odds are against you.

  • Frank

    If Islam wants to achieve respect and acceptance among Americans its spokesmen, high and low, will have to include in public and private discussions strong statements and teachings abhorring terrorist activities. We, the majority of Americans, mistrust Muslims, and with good reason. Muslims appear to many of us to be sneaky, insincere, secretive, prejudiced, and cowardly. How are they going to turn that around, or do they even care? So far, the evidence that they do is very thin.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    And for the 100th commentary:”Until the koran is deflawed, the mosques are “febrezed” and the Sunnis and Shiites are pacified, no one is safe !!!!”

  • Asim, San Antonio

    Muslims are peace loving people regardless of zionist propaganda which is always in the business of changing the subject away from the barbarities and atrocities of israel…Historically Muslims have been victimised by the jews and the west and when they defend themselves then they are terrorists-the same never applies to israel and the west…let us look at some of grievances of the Muslims:The Crusaders invasion and occupation of the Arab/Muslim east for over 200 years and the murder of thousands upon thousands of Muslims esepcially when Jerusalem was stormed…the Crusaders campaigns were initiated and promoted by the pope..the follower of Jesus!!!!??????The Catholic Inquisition administered by the Church and the forced conversions of untold numbers of Muslims-and jews-to Catholicism…ethnic cleanesing and exile of indigenous Spanish Muslims..by the million before and after 1492 AD….thre are now over five million exiled Spanish Muslims living in Morocco with Spainish surenames…still awaiting return to their homeland in Spain…Western Imperialism and Colonialism of the Muslim world from Morocco to Indonesia for centuries….Occupation and partition of the Arab east by Britain and France after ww1 and then the creation of an alien racist jewish theocracy at the expense of millions of Palestinians Arabs..this historic plunder was for the objective of getting rid of the jews and keeping the Arab east busy and divided all at once while dealing with this evil called israel created by Britain and nurtured by jewish controlled America….The invasion,destruction and occupation of Iraq on false pretenses and the murder of over one million Iraqis,and the turning of four million more into refugees-strongly promoted by israel and the jewsih lobby..and iciting a manufactured civil war between Sunnis and Shias while taering northren Iraq.. from the state of Iraq to create a kurdish state..and weaken Iraq while israel consolidates its hegemony and occupation of Arab Palestine……Invasion and occupation of Somalia by christian Ethiopia on behlaf of the US….And mouch more grievances…But when Muslims resist occupation of their homeland they are described as terrorists and radical but when others do the same they are freedom fighters….What is terrorism?killing civilains for political objectives;if so then Truman had committed the greatest terrorism act in history when he nuked hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in ww11… Genocide of Bosnian European Slavic Muslims in full day light and in the heart of “Civilized Europe,”just as it did to the jews in the holcaust…

  • Apostate

    Asim is recycling a list of “grievances?” that had been refuted time and again on these faith threads. Here is a repeat of those refutations.1. Islam is Peace.2. Muslims did not commit the Crusades.3.The Muslims did not commit the Inquisition:4. “Islam did not enslave the Africans.”5.” Muslims did not nuke hundred of thousands of Japanese.”6. “Islam did not “force convert to Christianity’ the whole of South America.”

  • aussiebarry

    I am not an American, but to the people posting here who think that muslims should have to answer questions that other religions do not just because they are muslims, may I say this “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • mahfuoooz Ibraham

    I believe that African-American Moslem are the most sincere among all the Moslem-Ameircans. They are more experienced that the other moslems, even those who were born in the US. African-American children will be more creative and more fixed on their Islamic identity. The other Moslems who were born in the US,inherited a severe complex of inferiority genes from their parent. They are more likely to lose their Islamic identity and even convert to other religions.One can see these non-African American Moslems in the media talking about very critical Islamic issues with out knowlegde and in most cases write their Islam-opposing ideas just to please the general US audience.

  • Arif

    Asim writes:The big guy upstairs is not Allah for sure and if it is God then your desired results will be different.

  • Tatum

    Thank you again Patel for a nice articla. I always like to read the comments, but I am always disappointed in the rhetoric in them. I am an imigrant muslim woman and I only practice at home, and hide my religion because of the prejudices that I see and read. When I read the comments above, I only get more frustrated and skeptical if we were ever be accepted here.I tell all the hateful comments writers above, that yes we condemn terrorism, we respect women, freedom of religion to all..and we have partcipated in making positive progression in America! Unfortunately, Fox news, CNN and all the media here do not cover that- by choice- so it will continue to demonize us in front of the general public.

  • Buraki

    Before American Moslems can be mercy upon others, they must be a mercy upon themselves first!!!!!!!!

  • Bigmo

    I think Eboo and the rest of the Muslim community must by now realized those who attack Islam rely on hadiths. When they want to quote the Koran to back up their claims they are forced to either misquote the verses or quote a verse without the verses before or after it.This is because many of the people here attacking Islam were the very same ones who fought the prophet and persecuted him and his followers. The very same ones who joined ranks with the pharoah against moses and the Romans against Jesus. The same pro Israel Jews you see here are the same ones who crucified Jesus. Upon their defeat at the hands of Muhammad and his followers they decided to become hadith narrators relating lies and fabrications in the form of gossip and propaganda which then becoame incorporated in many Sunni hadith litertaure like in Bukhari and Muslim.Muslims must rely on the one thing they can not lay their hands on. Muslims must stop accepting sectarian Islam which were formed by the rivalry between the Ummayads led by Aisha and the Abu-Hashims led by Hussein. Only the koran speaks for Muhammad and only the koran is Islam.

  • GeorgiaSon

    As I predicted several days ago at the beginning of this thread, neither Eboo or any Muslim has dared to respond to my five questions about what the authoritative voices of Islam say about the key doctrines that will determine whether or not Islam is compatible with liberal democracy. Only one Muslim, CONVERT’S OPINION, bothered to comment at all. While I have deep respect for what CO said and his/her personal outlook, his/her reply did not come close to addressing the core of my questions.So, once more a topic launched by Eboo Patel is wounding down without a response by Eboo to the responses to him. Once more, Eboo flees from the opportunity to engage in an exchange with Americans legitimately concerned about the role of Muslims in America. Once more, Eboo hides behind the cowardly anonymity afforded by On Faith. Once more, his fellow Muslims show they are incapable of engaging in the give-and-take afforded them by a free society.Once more, in the face of all this cowardice and silence, we can await the next exercise in which Eboo posts a commentary bemoaning the fact that Muslims in America don’t get no respect. Once more, we will see Eboo define dialogue as a one-sided exercise in which he gets to post his viewpoint and then runs and hides, apparently blind to the fact that it’s this very attitude that results in Muslims not getting any respect. Is it truly lost on Eboo and his fellow Muslims that the way they participate in this forum proves their lack of readiness to be integrated into American society?

  • VICTORIA

    your questions have been answered at length in the past georgiason- you just didnt like the answers-

  • amir

    Great article, thanks!

  • Nazim

    Thank you for the post…and do you have a link of the speeches given of the event?

  • GeorgiaSon

    While people like Eboo Patel and Jack Fairweather go on these pages to trumpet the touch-feely, moderate Islam, people all over the globe are having to cope with the darker truth of modern Islam. First, check out “Indonesia Loses Its Way” over in the PostGlobal blog. And the citizens of Fairfax County, Virginia, face the same religious extremism. At issue are textbooks used by an Islamic school that contain language intolerant of Jews and other groups as well as passages that could be construed as advocating violence. An official review of the textbooks was done by the congressionally appointed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. That Commission recommended in October that the State Department close the school until it proves that it is not teaching a type of religious intolerance potentially dangerous to the United States. Academy officials claim that they have removed the offending material from the textbooks. The Fairfax County government is unconvinced and has asked the U.S. State Department for a ruling.I have made the point over and over on separate blogs on On Faith that deal with Islam: Americans must always look past the propaganda turned out by the likes of Eboo Patel and Jack Fairweather about moderate Islam and look to the authoritative voices of that religion to determine its true nature and its compatibility with liberal democracy. I have also specifically said, most recently in a comment in Eboo Patel’s blog, that one way to discover that truth is to examine the textbooks of Islamic schools in America. See what Muslim students are actually being taught. I have said that I do not believe that Americans would be reassured by what they find.I rest my case on the example of the Fairfax County case.Let me repeat my other main refrain on these pages. A prime indication that Muslims just do not understand what America is all about is the refusal of Muslims like Mr. Patel and Mr. Fairweather to ever deign to respond to any of the comments offered on these pages to their original post. They proffer their commentary and then beat a cowardly retreat into their Wizard of Oz mold. I can think of no attitude more antithetical to the American approach of free and open debate. Mr. Patel and Mr. Fairweather obviously view themselves as the equivalent of the learned Islamic scholar teaching in any Islamic educational institution. Once they speak, that’s all anybody needs to know. No counter argument will be tolerated.Americans should tremble that this attitude is being inculcated into the brains of Muslim students in Islamic schools right here in America.

  • galita

    I admit I am very nervous about what’s being taught in Islamic mosques even in middle class neighborhoods. It is very hard to trust muslims when you can smile, wave at your neighbors and even host a neighborhood barbecue one day and blow up people the next. Americans do not understand that mentality, and since we don’t, it seems safer to stay away from all muslims rather than take a chance that the seemingly nice muslim neighbor takes you out the next day. This is not to say that all muslims are evil and bad, but I”m convinced that this is not a religion of peace, the prophet Muhammed was a seriously misguided man. This is not to say that those who choose to skip the parts about him taking a nine year old as his wife (and having sex with her at that age), can’t find their way to God anyway. Some of the problem may be the mixture of tribal beliefs (honor killings) along with Islam. In any case, this is not a religion I want my children to be exposed to at all.

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  • MR. LEE X SLAVE

    PLEASE STOP SLEEPING AND HATING ON THE NATION OF ISLAM. WE ESTABLISHED FAUGHT BLEED AND DIED SO THAT YOU SO CALLED ORTOHDOX MUSLIM CAN PRACTICE YOUR BRAND OF OPRESSION.

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