The emerging American Muslim civic identity

The recent spate of high-profile news on Muslim-Americans can be summed up easily: horror and terror. From Faisal Shahzad to … Continued

The recent spate of high-profile news on Muslim-Americans can be summed up easily: horror and terror.

From Faisal Shahzad to Jihad Jane to the five young men caught on terror charges in Pakistan, it doesn’t take much for news organizations to pick up on the theme of the hour.

This scares me. First and foremost, the stories continue to scare me. I am as likely to be in Times Square and the victim of a terror attack as anybody else. If there is backlash because of that attack, it’s Muslims who stand to suffer the most. And whether or not I’m on that plane or by that car, the fact that there are violent extremists who call themselves Muslims, and there is a media environment that constantly repeats their mantra, in the end it is my faith — Islam — that is being linked to violence in the public imagination.

The high-profile actions of the few are overshadowing a trend that is capturing the many: the emergence of an American Muslim civic identity, which is to say, how Islam inspires its followers to be better citizens in America.

You can see this in three ways:

1) The work of American Muslim intellectuals – like Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah of the Nawawi Foundation, who is working to show not only how Islam is indigenous to America by articulating the compatibility of American and Muslim ideals, but also the important role that Muslims have played throughout the history of our nation. In his most recent paper, “Turks, Moors & Moriscos in Early America”, Dr. Abd-Allah writes, “The presence of Muslim peoples throughout the history of American attests to the fact that they have played a noteworthy role in the American experience.”

2) Muslim organizations that are emphasizing how Islam inspires Muslims not only to build a strong Muslim community, or to be strong in their private practice, but also to be excellent public citizens. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is holding its annual convention in Chicago this weekend. The theme is not “The True Meaning of the Qur’an” or “How to Dominate other Religious Groups”. The theme is “Nurturing Compassionate Communities: Connecting Faith and Service,” and the convention offers workshops like Nurturing Compassionate Communities through Interfaith Partnerships and Cooperation, Translating Faith into Service, and a Muslim Entrepreneurs’ Showcase.

3) The contributions of a growing generation of Muslim-American civic leaders. I have often written about the exceptional work of Rami Nashashibi, who runs the Inner-City Muslim Action Network on the South Side of Chicago. Here I want to highlight Nadia Roumani and her program The American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute (AMCLI), which aims to empower emerging American Muslim civic leaders to help their communities engage in effective civic participation. The participants range from leaders of social service organizations to interfaith organizations – in other words, the type of civil leaders that religious communities in America have nurtured for generations and who this country relies on to strengthen the social fabric and contribute to the common good.

It’s no coincidence that I’m writing about this now, or that the ISNA convention is being held over the July 4th weekend. This Independence Day, I will remember that the promise of American citizenship is that people get to keep their particular ethnic-religious-racial identity and connect it to their role as citizens. It’s not just a privilege, it’s a responsibility, and it’s one that American Muslims are taking seriously.

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  • krullkk

    I can understand where this person is coming from. But on the other side, why do I have American Citezens getting arrested in Michigan for trying to peacefully hand out flyers containing Christian information near a Muslim Festival. This is covered by first ammendment rights. Look at what is happening in England and Sharia Law. That was the bases for the arrests in Michigan. Islam cannot be allowed to come here and try and change our laws to fit theres. We are a nation built on being equal, not on individualism. As far as I am concerned, if you want that then go back to where you came from. If this is going to happen, then people had better wake up or it is going to look like the streets of Afghanistan or Iraq because of a religious war. Not that it is going to be enacted by us but this kind of matality only brings out the worst in Islamic terrorists.

  • msarki27

    Krullkk – the arrests that occurred in Michigan were not due to any Sharia Law or attempted oppression of anyone constitutional rights. The arrests were due to antagonistic demonstrators and their purposeful disturbance of the peace. They were there for a confrontation and wanted to cause trouble. If these folks were at a Christian, Jewish or Buddish festival, they still would have been arrested. Contrary to your perception, Muslim’s do not want to take away anyone’s Freedom of Speech. They respect it and embrace it and if nothing else, they fight harder to ensure that theirs is not taken away. If you think Freedom of speech is being restricted, then look to the Christian group in Pennsylvania who is blatantly protesting at funerals of fallen soldiers, cursing them and their families for their actions because the military allows gays. And to add insult to injury, they sued the parents of the fallen soldier for damages and won. Where is the limitation of speech in this?

  • msarki27

    Thank you Mr. Patel for your article. The media often jades their stories and jumps on the Muslim bashing at any expense. As an example – immediately after the bombing in Olympic Park in Atlanta, all of the media outlets unwarrantedly blamed Muslims for the attack. And who was the culprit – An American CHRISTIAN. Following the 9/11 attacks, Pres. Bush came out the following day and made a statement. He stated (and I may be slighly paraphrasing) “When the terrorists hijacked those planes, they also highjacked a religion to hide behind and blame. They do not represent the peace loving Muslims of the world”.

  • diagasi

    I find this article dishonest.Patel seems to be suggesting that you can be a Muslim and NOT support terror attacks.I don’t see how this is possible. It says right in the Koran: “Believers, why is it that when you are told: ‘March in the cause of God,’ you linger slothfully in the land? . . . If you do not go to war, He will punish you sternly.” (9:38)Unless Patel thinks he has a line-item veto on this? If he does, great for him, but that means he’s not really a Muslim, as Muslims are not allowed to pick and choose out of the Koran what they will and will not obey: they must accept Allah’s marching orders in toto. (That’s also in the Koran).So that means either waging terror, supporting it from the sidelines, or (as in the case of this article), allaying the fears of the mushrikun societies thus besieged.

  • muslim1908

    Why do so many Islamophobes comment on these articles? I find it amazing that people will hate you and they don’t even know who you are or what you believe. We Muslims are just the bad guy characters in their story. Nothing more.

  • Southern_Hoosier

    I too understand where the author is coming from. It’s called “Al-taqiyya and dissimulation are words used for a practice of Muslims blatantly lying to non-Muslims. All but some of the most

  • Southern_Hoosier

    “Why do so many Islamophobes comment on these articles?”A phobia is an unreasonable fear. Is it unreasonable to fear a person that threatens to kill you because of your beliefs and then carries thru time and time again? It should be remembered that the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey were all Christian nations at one time. Islam in American is no different to the 5th columns that inhabited Europe prior to WW II.

  • abrahamhab1

    Eboo quotes from some book called “Turks, Moors & Moriscos in Early America” that is written by some Muslim:The Moors colonized and subjugated the Spaniards for almost eight centuries, yet the last of them had been driven out before the American continent was discovered. The Moriscos are those of the Moors who pretended to have integrated with the Spaniards yet worked as spies for the Turks who attempted to reinvade Spain. How does that have anything to do with “the American experience?” Furthermore the Turkish Sultans of Moorish Morocco, Algeria and Libya have thrived for many years on seizing American ships; very much like what the Somali pirates are doing today.

  • abrahamhab1

    Turkish Sultans of Moorish Morocco, Algeria and Libya have thrived for many years in the 18th century by seizing and confisicating and / or ransoming American ships; very much like what the Somali pirates are doing today. Could that be the “noteworthy role” Eboo referred to that the Turks, Moors and Moriscos played in the American experience?

  • tlwinslow

    The mistake of permitting mass Muslim immigration into the U.S. began with Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law, which was sold under the promise that it wouldn’t change America’s basic makeup. Sorry, but Islam from day one has been all about intolerance and total supremacy of Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women, hence no Muslim can reconcile Islam with the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights which proclaim equality of all people, freedom of thought and expression, and separation of church and state. The Ft. Hood Massacre and Times Square Bomber are cases in point that Muslim-Americans are all ticking time bombs torn between two incompatible ideologies, one of which promises a materially rich life now, the other promising paradise for martyrdom while expanding the territory of Muslim superiority and their Way of Life called Sharia. Study the little-known history of Islam’s rise and spread free anytime with the Historyscoper at

  • abrahamhab1

    “Why do so many Islamophobes comment on these articles? I find it amazing that people will hate you and they don’t even know who you are or what you believe”.We know enough. We read about your ideology and witness firsthand how your coreligionists apply it. Many of your ilks do not know much about their ideology more than what they hear from their imams. Even the so-called practicing Muslims do not know beyond the rituals and that they are” superior” to non-Muslims. They know that their Allah will reward “the believers” who persecute the non-Muslims with a paradise, which, according to their Quran, is a place where a huge celestial and everlasting super orgy will be taking place.

  • arkns

    The whole problem with Islam starts with this dumbo attitude: “Do not question the word of God which is contained in the Koran”. This is a screwed-up philosophy and extremely dangerous not only for Muslims but for the whole world. Because Muslims are compelled to believe that the Koran is the word of God, Islam is a huge liability for the world, for peaceful co-existence. Every single passage that promotes intolerance, that divides the world into the “faithful” and the “infidels” should be struck down. That “holy” book is badly written and needs to be thoroughly revised. If Muslims don’t do that, they will continue to produce terrorists no matter whether the Palestinian problem or the Kashmir problem or the so many other problems Muslims have with the rest of humanity, are resolved or what. Fundamentally, Islam is in error. If there is a God, His compassion, His equal treatment and love for all, His total acceptance of diversity, are not reflected in the words of that book. It is a false book, a dangerous book, a book that divides and not one that unites. I too say, read the Koran for yourself and you will not have any doubt that this is true. Therefore I do not believe that Muslims accept secularism and democracy or that they can reconcile themselves to a country that stands for these principles. That means they will have to renounce the Koran which they will never do.

  • Southern_Hoosier

    I would highly recommend the book Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren. It has a 4 ½ star rating by Amazon readers.As a historian, Oren is more storyteller than grand theorist, so as a study of the complex and contradictory motives of American behavior, his book is a bit thin. Nevertheless, three powerful themes emerge from his tales: that from the Founders onward, Americans have repeatedly tried to transform Arab and Muslim peoples — politically, spiritually and economically — to conform to liberal and Christian principles; that since the days of the Puritans, many Americans have been obsessed with the idea of “restoring” Palestine to the Jews; and that from the colonial era to the present, many (and perhaps most) Americans have regarded Islam as a barbaric, violent and despotic religion. Whether these purposes and perceptions have been intelligent or misguided, based on reality or fantasy, Oren shows that they have been the dominant features of our foreign policy tradition in the Middle East.“Oren demonstrates that suspicion and hostility toward Islam are almost as old as the nation. John Quincy Adams called it a “fanatic and fraudulent” religion, founded on “the natural hatred of Mussulmen towards the infidel.”Oren quotes a mid-19th-century Arab guide warning a missionary: “You Americans think that you can do everything . . . that money can buy or that strength can accomplish. But you cannot conquer Almighty God.”Copyright 2007, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

  • twforg

    From being romanticized in the 1960s, Muslims came to be demonized beginning in the 1990s. Why?Read this excellent article And “there are violent extremists who call themselves” Christians —

  • ThomasBaum

    Southern_HoosierYou wrote, “The only difference between Eboo Patel and the Islamic terrorist is, one practices the teaching of Mohammad the other doesn’t. Read the Quran for yourself.”According to what you wrote in the rest of your article, could be that they are both following the “teachings of Mohammad”, don’t you think?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • shovandas

    Eboo Patel is either ignorant or a Islamic fundamentalist. He does not want to know the reality till somebody rubs his nose in it.

  • ThomasBaum

    Eboo Patel You wrote, “I am as likely to be in Times Square and the victim of a terror attack as anybody else.”Yes, this is true, that seems to be one of the points of “terrorism”, its very “indiscriminate” nature, but what does that have to do with the news media reporting facts?Should the “facts” not be reported because they somehow disturb you?Maybe they should “disturb” you considering that they do much more than “disturb” the people that these acts are perpetrated against.You then wrote, ” there is a media environment that constantly repeats their mantra, in the end it is my faith — Islam — that is being linked to violence in the public imagination”No, Mr Patel, it is not being “linked”, it is being “reported”, there is a difference, and calling it a “mantra” rather than a reporting of “facts” is a misrepresentation of reality or at least an attempt at that.You also wrote, “This Independence Day, I will remember that the promise of American citizenship is that people get to keep their particular ethnic-religious-racial identity and connect it to their role as citizens.”Actually, the “promise”, as you put it, is that people have the “choice” to “keep” or not to keep but that “choice” does not extend to forcing “their particular ethnic-religious-racial identity” on others.You added, “It’s not just a privilege, it’s a responsibility, and it’s one that American Muslims are taking seriously.”It is not a privilege, it is not a responsibility, unless one has a choice and that is what America is about, at least in theory, whereas some of the rest of the world does not have a choice unless one does it privately and with the power of the “state” to crush at any moment.This is one of the reasons why I have said that I believe the “founding fathers” were divinely inspired in the “seperation of church and state”.Whether one uses “terrorism”, the “ballot boxes”, distortions, whatever, to “force their beliefs” on others seems to speak volumns about the inadequacies of the aforementioned “beliefs”.Right now the USA has “freedom of religion” and “freedom of the press”, just how long these both may last is anybody’s guess.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • jimeglrd8

    I have read the Koran and it clearly urges believers to either convert or kill “infidels”. Accordingly, as an “infidel” I consider Islam my enemy. Those Americans Moslems who say otherwise are simply trying to lure “infidels” to sleep so they can be killed.

  • DebChatterjee

    Folks, this article from Eboo Patel smacks of hypocrisy. Why ?Because look, Eboo points out to the ISNA convention in Chicago. The theme is to “build bridges”. My question: why aren’t other Muslim majority nations doing the same ? Surely not to my knowledge.Why are American Muslim orgs. like CAIR or ISNA or others doing this ? Because they know that the likes of Faisal Shahzad, or Jihad Jane or Najibullah Zazi or Captain Nidal Malik Hasan pose a threat to the ultimate goal of Muslims and Islam: dominate the world by spreading and multiplying. The phenomenon of multiplication happens in USA through massive reproductive rates, conversion to Islam or through immigration. The fear of Eboo and his likes is that if they do not talk about compatibility between Islam and US values (which is a hoax), then the US lawmakers might get pissed off and stop Muslims from immigrating to USA. Then their goal of expansion might not happen. Today the Muslims in USA is around 2%. When the Muslim population reaches 10% or higher the phenomenon of Islamic assertion or dominance starts. Look at Western Europe. Because the Muslim population is quite high there, problems have surfaced there very prominently. Eboo knows all that so he is playing the game by downplaying the divide that his Islamic faith preaches against other religions and cultures.

  • hoosierdonk

    Nice try but I’m not buying it. The game now here in the U.S. is infiltration into the general population. Pretending to be a good neighbor. I’ve read it with my own eyes in your Koran I will never doubt what my eyes see.So I’m here, I’m watching and this country will not become Muslim dominated.Now if what you say is true then you and the your majority must take control of your fanatics. That means all the Imam’s and whatever else you call your preacher men must quit preaching the destruction of the world in the name of Allah. Just saying it’s not us I’m sorry to say is not enough on your part. Stop them, control your underworld and quit firing them up with your wild preaching otherwise you should only expect your future to be worse than it is at the moment…

  • hoosierdonk

    Look, if your a Muslim then you are on the wrong side. Your religion has been hijacked and you can’t do anything about it and sad to say most of your Islamic governments don’t want to do anything about it or can’t do anything about it or are directly involved in it… Whether you like it or not your leaders (any Muslim expressing his opinion in the media are your leaders) tell us time and time again that they are going to get us? Wipe us off the map. Take over the world and make it one Islamic state in the servitude of Allah? I’m not stupid I won’t be letting down my guard.You want to feel safe take care of your fanatics.

  • tony55398

    Perhaps Muslims can com up with a new interpretation of the Koran, that it doesn’t mean what it says. I’m waiting for that fatwa that condemns suicide bombers and the taking of innocent life, or is any life taken considered to be guilty? I’m waiting for Muslim countries to allow and protect all religious faiths and their members and the buildings used for worship. Churches and Synagogues and issue fatwas against their destruction. Are Muslims allowed to use violence in the furtherance of their faith and if not I would like to see a fatwa against such, not a fatwa by one or just a few clerics but by a majority, and than back it up by their actions, talk is cheap.

  • tony55398

    Why doesn’t Turkey admit to the past genocide of so many of it’s Christian countryman?

  • DebChatterjee

    Tony55398 wrote:”Are Muslims allowed to use violence in the furtherance of their faith …”Well, to the best of my knowledge the following verse from the Quran [004:095] has been used by radical clerics (such as Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen) to justify that for furthering the cause of Islam, those Muslims who fight and receive wounds or die, are more blessed by Allah than those who do not. (I am providing the English translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, and read it for yourself to verify what it means.)YUSUFALI: “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-”

  • WmarkW

    Another proud moment for religious diversity:Family of Harry Potter actress Afshan Azad charged with assaulting her for having a boyfriend:

  • williamhuxtan

    How to be a good citizen of the world:

  • legitbrownie

    “Islam is indigenous to America by articulating the compatibility of American and Muslim ideals”… hmmmm???

  • rcubedkc

    Muslims DO NOT belong in civilized, western countries.It doesn’t matter where they are, from the cesspool countries of their own making, to the murderous, welfare receiving neighborhoods in ours, they are nothing but mad dogs, waiting and planning to kill as many of us as they can.All of them should be deported back to their countries of origin and kept there, permanently.

  • clearthinking1

    There he goes again.Eboo writes: “in the end it is my faith — Islam — that is being linked to violence in the public imagination.”You have the same obsessive-compulsive disorder that all believing muslims have, whether they have acted violently or not – yet.What is the difference between Eboo and Major Hassan(he was such an exemplary “muslim American citizen” that he joined the US military and took an oath to defend America)? One has already “snapped”; the other killed innocent Americans for islam.

  • 45upnorth

    Putting country first is American. Religious group: Muslims, Jews, Christian, Buddhists, etc. live in this country but do not alone make up and determine what American is. It is dangerous for one group or party to oversee all the rules, regulations, laws, etc. We were founded on Christian principles and it gave us the base on which we built this nation. We need to look back to our founding principles and virtues in order to keep a strong and united nation. Right now we are divided on many issues. Divided by politicians especially in Washington who want to keep us split which gives them opportunity for control and power. This is something our founding fathers and brothers talked and warned us about. We have found in the past year and a half that a one party system is dangerous as well as dysfunctional. As for Muslims, like all groups, they are welcome but leave your barbaric and backwards practices in the country from which you came. This is not the middle east — this is America. If you don’t like the fact we will not bow down and accept your religious laws then you have the freedom to move back to your country that allows you to practice such laws. All we ask is that you respect America and Americans.

  • Vipda

    //This Independence Day, I will remember that the promise of American citizenship is that people get to keep their particular ethnic-religious-racial identity and connect it to their role as citizens. It’s not just a privilege, it’s a responsibility, and it’s one that American Muslims are taking seriously.//I have had the experience to work with muslims in US and outside US. Truthfully not all muslims are fanatics or terrorists.It is my observation that even before 9/11, it is was stressful to live as a muslim in US.Due to 9/11 and subsequent violence sponsored by Islamic terrorists organization which reopens the 9/11 wounds, life for muslims in US has become so stressful that it has become difficult, almost impossible for muslims to discern their friends from their foes.It is not good for muslims in USA to carry so much stress, and the only path to peace is either a change of location or psychiatric help.A first step to being a better USA citizen is to break out of the muslims brotherhood mold and be recognized as a citizen of USA. The next step is to be a good USA citizen…There is no such thing as being a better American or American citizenship!

  • Watcher1

    “Thank you Mr. Patel for your article. The media often jades their stories and jumps on the Muslim bashing at any expense.”

  • rajimali

    Again we can only go by what we see today where societies have majority Muslim population. They are known mostly for intolerance, hatred and violence: Here is a quote from Serge Trifkowic book “The sword of Prophet””Ernest Renan who started his study of Islam by praising its ability to manifest “what was divine in human nature’, ended it- a quarter of a century and three long tours of the Muslim world later- by concluding that “Muslims are the first victims of Islam” and tht therefore, “to liberate the Muslims from his religion is the best service that one can render him”…”Islam , in Muhammad’s texts and its codification, discriminates against us (infidels). It is extremely offensive…Islam discriminates against all “unbelivers”…

  • Moderate62

    The problem with muslims is they are only loyal to one thing above all – Islam – everything – and everybody -else comes second – the idea that they can be Americans in that americans identify themselves as loyal to the country is not compatible with Muslims sense of loyalty – and therefore there is no way they can be americans in the historical sense of that word – unless they can embrace the values of america – which are loyalty to country, individual liberty to pursue life and happiness as the individual sees it- not as they’re told to do by some inman -and tolerance for others – they have no place here and should not be permitted to be citizens or live here on a permanent basis.

  • victoriafalls100

    There hasn’t been too much posted on the basics of the faith.1. Allah said that he was the last prophet after Moses and Jesus; with him a seal was on further development of the monotheistic line. Because he was the last, everyone should flock to his faith. Those who don’t convert who live in Moslem lands are “dhimmi” or second rate citizens, subject to extra taxes and the constant fear of deportation. We are seeing that now as Christians are being removed from Moslem countries. Moslems truly believe that they have the one faith, that conversion is a benefit to mankind and that is is their goal to convert all. If you become Moslem you cannot leave the faith; hence, Moslems hate the Druze. 2. The concept of “waqf” is key. Waqf refers to the organization that takes care of mosques, helps the poor and provides social services. It is also responsible for the land. The corollary concept of waqf, beyond the organization, is that once land is Moslem it is to be Moslem forever. Moslems are serious when they say they want to restore the Caliphate and to recapture lands from which they were expelled centuries ago. That includes Spain and Portugal. If they are still fretting over that event, you can understand why they are so enraged about Israel. It’s not the Palestinians they care about, because they certainly do murder their own, is the fury that waqf has been violated.Moslems simply don’t assimilate well. Consider the joyous dancing in Pakistani neighborhoods in New York on 9/11 for one example. Mr. Patel is wrong. Moslem and American ideals just don’t mesh.

  • kevinrardin

    Wasn’t there a time when many Americans were worried that Catholic immigrants to the U.S. would put their allegiance to their faith ahead of their allegiance to the United States?

  • two4three2

    Ronin12—You say you are proud of how you raised your children. Tell us, did you allow your daughters to grow up to be independent young woman who weren’t forced to wear burkas/hijabs/abayas/head scarves? Did you allow them to wear westernized clothing? Did you allow them to behave as a typical teenaged American girl? Meaning, were they allowed to date and go to sleep overs with other girls? Were they allowed to choose their own husbands? Did you teach your sons to respect women and treat them as equals? Did you teach your kids to put their country (the USA) ahead of their religion?When that Egyptian-American doctor (whose name escapes me right now) held a rally in DC a few years back for Muslims to condemn terrorism, did you take your family there and loudly denounce terrorism? Somehow I’m doubting that you did. The doctor has organized rallies elsewhere and the most he ever got to attend was 100 Muslims at a Michigan rally.A recent poll found that more than half of Muslims in America said that suicide bombings were justified under certain circumstances. That’s chilling. And yet you wonder why Americans don’t trust Muslims!

  • victoriafalls100

    “Wasn’t there a time when many Americans were worried that Catholic immigrants to the U.S. would put their allegiance to their faith ahead of their allegiance to the United States?”Yes, that’s true, in a more secular, non-commercial world than we have now. But we’ve never stopped arguing about the relationship between church and state, which is the point. Moslems want church and state mixed – or more precisely mosque and state. Europe is struggling with the problem now. One Dutch legislator stated that his country is a democracy and if Moslems were the dominant religion and ran the government then democracy demanded that the majority rule – Sharia law and all. We don’t want that here.

  • prossers7

    I am disgusted at all things Muslim being shoved down my throat, much like the health care reform bill. Since Obama was thrown at our heads in Nov ’08, with him came the UNIONS and Muslims and anti-American slogans. ‘We the people’ hate that completely.If Muslims want to BE PART OF AMERICA, fine no problem.If Muslims want to TAKE OVER AMERICA, then huge problem, which is what most Americans believe.

  • crescendo999

    So I wonder if Mr Patel has really read the Koran with an impartial eye. Because if so I feel sorry for him and all western educated Muslims. There is no way a sane, educated, reasonably honest individual could ever go along with all that’s in it. I can understand if you lived in the Muslim lands that you know nothing else and are heavily indoctrinated. So all I can think of is that people like Mr Patel create elaborate narratives of rationalization in their heads and then try to convince others of them too. I feel your pain Mr Patel; ’cause the only other option would be apostasy which in your culture is almost a death sentence. What is a man to do? Sad!

  • t1123

    Why don’t the intellectual Muslims start doing something about the shameful, horrific conditions of women in the Muslim countries. Today’s outrageous, sickening news: Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, an Iranian mother of two convicted of adultery, will be buried up to her chest and stoned to death, a human rights activist warns.

  • prossers7

    Chicago – Of course!!!Since Obama came into being, ALL THINGS BAD AND AGAINST AMERICA COMES OUT OF CHICAGO!!!Does al-Qaeda/Taliban know where Chicago is? Please, someone give them a map.

  • WmarkW

    “1. Allah said that he was the last prophet after Moses and Jesus”Allah is the Arabic language word for God, by which believers of all three major monotheistic faiths refer to the supreme being. Since a majority of Arabic speakers are Muslims, “Allah” usually refers to the theological concepts of that faith. Allah (“God” or “Yahweh” in different tongues) wants us all to be charitable to the poor, honest in our relationships, and humble in our spirituality. Unfortunately, Allah’s leading spokesman in the Arabic world was a selfish, greedy, pervert warlord named Muhammed, who commanded the believers to conquer everyone else and use violence where necessary to spread not just the word of Allah, but Muhammed’s own predilictions.The world to this day suffers from the bastardization of the pure beliefs of Allah with Muhammed’s arrogant, deluded selfishness.

  • imemon

    After going through the posted comments, I recall a cartoon: A bully has nailed down a skinny boy and is sitting on top of him. But the bully is crying. A passerby asks the reason and bully responds, when the boy gets up, he will beat me.After invading Iraq on flimsy grounds, attacking Afghanistan and now dragging Pakistan in so called war on terror, continuously supporting morally bankrupt regime in Israel since decades, the question is innocently being asked “why do they (Muslims) hate us”. And poor American Muslims who are trying their best to peacefully co-exist, and become vital part of community are being abused by Islamophobes and bigots, as seen in majority of posted comments.What a shame!

  • Martial

    Vital remembering Japanese Americans and WWII. Thanks be to God, no internment camps have been created. Vigilant in defense of the rights and freedoms of our American Muslim friends our country must be. Prejudicial government action is a facile, wrong solution to security problems.

  • rajimali

    So which Muslim majority nation is really secular and democaratic? Can you name 3 or 4 out of 57? Muslims only talk of these ideals ( opposite of Quran) when they are in minority. Here is a piece from Times of India.com”THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a horrific instance of Talibanism, Muslim fanatics in Kerala on Sunday chopped off the right hand of a college lecturer, accusing him of setting a question paper with a derogatory reference to the Prophet”

  • CharlesGriffith1

    A major, major, part of America’s Muslim/Islamist Problem is that, as this author states, an EMERGING trend to have a “civic identity” seems to be taking place. Nearly ten years AFTER that horrific day in September of 2001? The hand-wringing passivity of the worldwide Muslim/Islamist community while standing meekly aside at an overwhelming negative consensus while their co-religionists are wreaking such murderous havoc worldwide in their zeal to become omnipotent is at the root of further Muslim mayhem. This feeds upon itself without Muslim/Islamist intervention against their terrorist co-religionists.There is an alarming unmet need for the Muslim/Islamist community to take their own visibly aggressive, militant action against As matters stand now, all we hear are knee-jerk cries of “racism” and “prejudice”.America’s Muslim/Islamic community is still America’s security problem No. 1.

  • rajimali

    Mr. Patel, your time and effort to spread secularism and tolerance for other/minority faiths is desparately needed in most Muslim nations. Take your pick- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan…. ; pack your bags and spread your message there. Thank you.

  • rddynar

    Well Eboo:You and I are blood brothers. But your ancestors were converted to Islam either by force or to receive some other pecuniary benefit from Muslim rulers. So now you are a Muslim. Islam is not a religion like any other. It is more a political organization than a a religion. A Muslim is brainwashed during his/her childhood. So he/she is unable to see the truth. You are one of them. Islam created Pakistan. Brothers were forced to kill brothers. Two millions killed. 14 millions became refugees. No problem is solved by separation. It created more problems. Islam is the problem.

  • Ezra2

    I hope the washington post editors, who keep presenting us with these types of articles, look at these comments. not even washpost readers are buying this obvious attempt to favor muslims, the washpost’s current pet minority for some time now, and to convince us that there is nothing to worry about.

  • WmarkW

    One problem with Islam is that it is not designed to be a minority, unpolitical faith. Jesus preached among people without political power and taught them to practice personal morality even in the absence of state power to back it up. Muhammed was warlord who taught how to conquer land and then use it for (his idea of) the common good.It is in the very nature of Islam to territorially expand. It is incompatible with not just separation of church and state, but with the modern globalized world in which the significance of national borders decreases every day.

  • [email protected]

    They should not be here.America is not for everyone, and not everyone is for America.They should not be here.

  • richarddrake

    A Muslim desiring to become a citizen of the Unites States, I would find it uncomfortably baffling. As Americans, we do remember what the Muslims did to us and the rest of non-Muslim world. The Muslims hardly get along in any non-Muslim countries. Non-Muslims are NOT allowed to become citizens of Muslim nations especially Saudi Arabia. NO churches, synagogues and any houses of worship except mosques, of course, are allowed to be built there, either. We can’t afford to play cute with those Muslims who want to become US citizens. It may sound nazi-like brutal, Muslims MUST not be allowed to become citizens of our beloved country for the very same reason here on the comment above. MUSLIMS need no apply here in our beloved country.

  • Garak

    @TWO4THREE2: When Americans held a rally in DC a few years back to condemn the US sponsoring dictatorships in the Middle East, did you take your family there and loudly denounce that decades-old policy? Somehow I’m doubting that you did.@VICTORIAFALLS100: You’re too modest. Religious and American ideals are not compatible. As for reactions to 9/11, remember Ariel Sharon saying “9/11 is good for Israel.” Oh, yes, 9/11 been very, very good for Israel!@MODERATE62: And what about christian Americans who say their interpretation of god’s word is superior to the Constitution?@CLEARTHINKING1 : How about christianity’s bloody borders? As for loyalty, have you contributed to the Free Jonathan Pollard Fund yet? Or are those Americans still patriotic?@WILLIAMHUXTAN: Here’s how to be a good citizen of the world:1. Do not steal other peoples’ lands.

  • dmt3

    The key difference between Muslims and other religions is the lack of boundaries. Because the order of precedence is Islam first, nationality second, Muslims are above secular laws of nations. In America (and most other countries) we have no ordering of our loyalty. We may be Christians, but we are also Americans and where there is a conflict between our loyalty to our country and our loyalty to our religion citizenship usually wins. Note that loyalty to religion does not equate to loyalty (fealty) to God. Religion is a form of tribalism as Americans we subordinate our tribalism to Americanism. Muslims do not. Islam commands one to transcend nationalism for Islam. This is a critical difference and the crux of the reason why Muslim Americans cannot be automatically considered loyal to their country. Yep, that’s right, I question the loyalty of all Americans who are Muslim, until they demonstrate otherwise. The latest example are the young men from Virginia who went to Pakistan for jihad. I have no evidence that Muslims are loyal Americans and in the absence of evidence, I consider them disloyal until proven otherwise.

  • victoriafalls100

    This has nothing to do with hating the West for past or present history. This has to do with a religious imperative that does not encourage integration.The issue here is whether or not American Moslems can/want to assimilate into American society. Their history on living in non-Moslem societies is not very promising. They withdraw into their own world. Look at Europe. Sharia law is now being demanded in England.If they want Sharia law, they should stay in Moslem countries.

  • CharlesGriffith1

    An additional idea to pursue is the subject of the Muslim/Islamic concept of “Taqiyya”. For starters, you can check it out from your personal laptop/computer by bringing up “Google” and entering …”Taqiyya”. Read carefully, curb your attention-span- shortness.

  • two4three2

    No, Garak, I did not go. You did I take it? So…good for you but what does this have to do with the subject at hand which is Muslims in America? What does this have to do with what I asked Ronin12?

  • victoriafalls100

    As I said, we are still arguing about the separation of church and state. We don’t need to add mosque and state to the mix.Garak: It was Bush who said that the invasion of Iraq would be good for Israel, a supremely idiot statement; if Sharon said what you claim, he was as wrong. As to your other comments. Well, as Barney Frank said to a supremely uninformed constituent: “I don’t want to continue this conversation with you because it’s the same as talking to my dining room table.”

  • two4three2

    As to your other comments. Well, as Barney Frank said to a supremely uninformed constituent: “I don’t want to continue this conversation with you because it’s the same as talking to my dining room table.”

  • OldAtlantic

    Please report offensive articles below. This seems to be working.

  • whm99

    It’s ironic that muslim apologists make such touching statements about fitting in, accepting, and being such a wonderful part of American culture — as long as they are in the United States, that is. They wouldn’t dare make such statements in an actual islamic country. Nobody wants to die, well, unless extra virgins are being handed out in the afterlife.I’ll start believing muslims once they start denouncing the slaughter of innocents by muslims, rather than the mistreatment of muslims by infidels.Where are the massive demonstrations by muslims repulsed by murder in the name of islam? They are too scared by members of their own violent religion to say a word in protest.”muslim” and “islam” are written intentionally in lower case as a sign of disrespect.

  • ISlamDEnemy

    Just HOW would allegiance to a Catholic Pope be anti-American?Would the Pope tell us to cut off the heads of the Muslims?Would the Pope tell us to destroy all Infidels?Would the Pope activate his Sharia Law in Congress?Tell us the evils of Catholicism.Death to Islam, CULT of murder/suicide.

  • rcubedkc

    How Islamic civic leaders are inspiring Muslims to be better Americans. Wait, wait, don’t tell me.By plotting to kill Americans?Did I win?

  • ronin12

    It is amazing to read so many islamphobes coming out with their true colors. Interestingly they are falsely accusing American Muslims for being intolerant and meanwhile displaying disgusting vile,intolerance with false accusations. I have been living in America for years and I am proud of my “American”heritage and am proud how I raised my children. only few of these islamophobes get to read and understand about Islam and how it transformed humanity out of “Dark ages”.

  • fgoepfert1

    There is a great gap between what Muslim apologists state and the reality of Islam, which is dictated by mandatory adherence to the Quran. Civic participation in a infidel culture is forbidden. That culture, by Quran dictate, most be conquered by Islam. No Muslim apologist will declare those sections of the Quran calling for a Jihad of the Sword to be invalid. The issue is always avoided with spiraling arguments. Those arguments represent a Jihad of the Pen and Tongue, designed to ease the fears of the infidels before conquest.

  • barnabytwist

    Just not to be believed, the amount of hate spewed by “good” Americans in response to this article. Personally, I’d rather deal with Muslims any day over the sanctimonious, self-righteous evangelical xians that we are bombarded with. Now THOSE are some disgusting people.

  • OldAtlantic

    rcubedkc | July 5, 2010 9:08 AM Yes you won. Now you get to wait in line at an airport to be searched by a Muslim to get on board. This is to teach you a lesson. The lesson is that keeping quiet while your land is taken from you doesn’t save you from humiliation, indignity or loss of jobs or medicare. In fact, it makes all of these a certainty.

  • rightlyso

    Which Muslim do you mean? Have the Sunni learned to accept the Shia as equal in Islam? Has the meaning of Surah 1, Al-Fatiha no longer recited five times daily to remind Muslims that Jews have earned the anger of Allah and Christians have strayed from the true faith?

  • captn_ahab

    Is a Muslim’s greater commitment to the Ummah or to the nation of which he is a citizen?Are there any Muslim leaders who will say Israel is a legitimate Middle Eastern nation and an important US ally?Can you explain the attraction of violent jihad to many (but not all,of course) Muslim youth?Just wondering on this day after the 4th…

  • mimosa1

    Is that Bush in the photograph along the side of the article?Is that really “W”? Who is responsible for the deaths of over five millions muslims in Iraq? If it is, the lesson to be learned here then seems is to wreak havoc, murder and mayhem on a big, big scale, like Bush did … then it’s OK. BTW, Bush is as phony a christian as they come ,, his cynical use of christianity and its language was for show only and tragically gullible Americans who are so easily duped by religious posturing fell for it. They fall for it every time….. whether it’s Jerry Fallwell, Pat Roberts, FoxInc, Rod Parsely or the sinister Bush cabal.

  • troutcor

    It seems to me that the vast majority of mass shootings carried out in this country are perpetrated by white males. So why no hue and cry over the need to make them “better citizens?” Or are we assuming that the country belongs to white males first, and thus anything they do wrong – no matter how statistically significant – is some kind of anomaly, whereas if a Muslim does something, it is suddenly representative of an entire community. Down with Hickofacism, I say.

  • kevinrardin

    How many of those who have posted comments actually know any Muslims as individuals or even friends? I’m just wondering.

  • chatard

    Did you hear the one about B. Jussein Obama telling the new director of NASA that his number one priority is to reach out to the Muslim world? No, not B. Hussein’s priority, the DIRECTOR OF NASA’S PRIORITY!!! We already know what B. Hussein’s priorities are. Now the scientific community is being harnessed for ‘the effort’.

  • 27anon72

    quick reaction-Mr.Patel- it is hard to give you any credence when you put three self serving examples up on the board and finish with what you consider to be a flurish of afffection/interest in this country in your last paragraph -repeated below-”It’s no coincidence that I’m writing about this now, or that the ISNA convention is being held over the July 4th weekend. This Independence Day, I will remember that the promise of American citizenship is that people get to keep their particular ethnic-religious-racial identity and connect it to their role as citizens. It’s not just a privilege, it’s a responsibility, and it’s one that American Muslims are taking seriously. “NOT A SINGLE WORD OF CONDEMNATION ny you or in your hand picked examples of Muslim activity in the USD examples for your fellow Muslim religionists who are out there killing those of other faiths and have “KIDNAPPED” your religion- why are the airwaves and preess filled with the moral idignation of thousands of Musdlim leaders, especially learned students of the Koran complaining about the hertesy of the terrorists and their desecration of the Muslim faith-

  • hanif1924

    Very good article. We need more like it to drown out the more dominate news as youre article points out the violent image of Muslim and Islam.Its funny how the points in the article are missed because of the prejudice held by the other posting.It’s also funny the knee jerking reaction by my Muslim brothers and sisters in response to those article who by the way also missed the point.Consistancy and patience is what we need.

  • carlbatey

    Just more muslim lies. Those this kind of drivel assume we haven’t read the koran or the teachings of the child raping murderer they call a prophet. Islam is toxic and oppossed to every value America believes in.

  • mike195879

    Black Muslims in US are rarely involved in terrorist acts. The terrorism problem we face is mostly from children of Muslim immigrants from ME and Pakistan.I think most blame goes to the immigrant parents who drag their kids to Mosques every week, do not allow them to integrate in US society (food, dress, dating etc) and constantly feed Muslim victimhood narrative . May be they should stop watching Al Jazzier and discuss good things US has done for Muslims and other poor nations

  • Confucius2009

    Mr.Patel, you speak in high terms, with a of idealistic babel. Haven’t we heard them before?Let us look for a few basic tenets of religious practice is US or in other democratic countries. See whether Islam as you define it and the Islam you want to bury under the carpet accept these 100%:1) tolerance and absolute tolerance to other religious practices. This means, no criticism of non-Islam religious practices either in your cocoon of mosques or in newsletters.2) condemn in absolute terms the perpertrators of 9/11. This involves a) as muslims, you and your so called bretherns condemn Deobandi school and Wahhabbi school of deep fundamental Quranic interpreations and shariat law, b) name the 9/11 perpetrators and their supporters as traitors of Islam c) support International troop efforts in Afghanistan against Taliban3) make the islam mosques accounting in US 100% transparent. This is to make sure not a cent goes for indirectly supporting madaraasaas in Lahore that nurture anti-West ideologues and also the conversion activities in India and some African countries4) respect freedom of speech and expression in US. 5) accept that non-Islam religions are also equal and Truthful; not call non-Islam religious as that of infidels6) not build mosque on the holy grounds of 9/11 in NY7) declare as a religion that killing of innocent in the name of Islam is anti-islamic and excommunicate any religious leader inciting other muslims in violence against innocent people in every part of the world.These are the first steps. Let us see whether all- ALL -all muslims accept to do these. Your university-lecture style idealism hides hideous notions of religious narrow mindedness. I believe you are the fair face of those faceless murderers of innocents – murdered in the name of a man who died 1300 years back or in the name of Until you come out refusing to accept the fundamentalism of your ‘bretherns’, why do you expect rest of the country will remain stupid enough to see that you are just a facade to appease the western populace…Do understand that Islam of 21st century is cursed because of 9/11. The curse is that: nowhere in the world muslims as a community will leave in peace but end up fighting amongst each other. The blood of 3000 innocents on that Tuesday will forever hang over the muslims of the world. That massacre is equal to 100′s of thousands who have died by Babur, Taimur, all the Khiljis, Malik Kafurs,

  • joe_allen_doty

    According to John, the author of the Gospel of John, the John Epistles and the book entitled “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” Jesus is the Word of God” and not a book.If one follows the actual teachings of Jesus, one will not want to overthrow a government, start wars with one’s enemy, nor demand other people believe exactly like one believes.Jesus didn’t come to set up a theocracy like in the Muslim nations. I saw a program on PBS-TV yesterday which proved that the real government leaders of Iran are the Muslim clerics. Jesus’ kingdom is to be a spiritual kingdom and exist only in the hearts of humans. His followers are supposed to unconditionally love their enemies, not get even with them. If a person is being literally correct and has accepted Jesus’ free gift of Salvation, he doesn’t call himself “Christian” but Believer instead. “Christian” was a word coined by Greek-speaking pagans in Antioch, Syria to make fun of those who preached about the Anointed One, aka Christos.

  • shovandas

    Eboo Patel,Are you so ignorant not to know the agenda of Muslims in America and the world over that this article is just a charade ? Go out into the everyday world and talk to your people – candidly. You will find the answer. Islam is fractured.

  • t1123

    This is very hard to believe as we observe every single day the violent actions of Muslim men (and now a few women; however, I guess the women are forced into those killings as they have no inherent rights outside of their homes). Take a look at their culture — the incredibly severe penalties (i.e., death) because a woman and an unrelated man have a conversation. Just to name one example. Won’t even get into what happens when a woman shows her ankle or when she is gang raped. Hint – she is either whipped (minimum about 50 lashes) or stoned to death. We’ve read many articles about fathers in the U.S. killing their daughters because they wear makeup. But, hey! It’s religion! The culture, the religion — inherently violent. Look at France and other European countries who have to tolerate and adjust to Muslim demands (Muslim women must cover their heads as they are not worthy). There are about one billion Muslims on the planet and they breed like rabbits (besides cooking & cleaning, that’s all the women are good for). I look forward to learning from the American Muslim intellectual Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah as to how Islam is indigenous to America.

  • LilannB

    If we are going to talk about Islam’s history with the United States shouldn’t we also mention Islam’s involvement with the slave trade both historically and in 2010?Many of those who sold slaves to America were Muslim and Muslims continue to be involved in the slave trade to this day. American Muslim Malcolm X was appalled to see slaves being sold in Saudi Arabia in 1960. Saudi Arabia only ended the slave trade in the early 1960s under pressure. While the slave trade continues to be practiced by Muslims in North Africa.Read the true life stories of modern day slaves like Francis Bok who suffered at the hands of Muslim slave masters.Bok’s book is called “Escape from Slavery”.

  • bandmom22

    These people will only be considered Americans when they start calling themselves Americans period. I don’t think of myself as a Catholic American. Only in the age of The obama and the culture of victimhood would someone choose to call themselves a hyphenated American anything much less a religious sect American. That’s just lame.

  • chatard

    …..”building Muslim communities….building muslim communities….building Muslim communities ….building MUSLIM communities ……Muslim Americans…..Muslim Americans….MUSLIM Amerricans …muslim….Muslim…..MUSLIM…

  • skscottkeyes

    An earlier poster said it , look for a problem in the world, a war, a terrorist act, a ethnic civil war uprising, almost in every instance , it is a Muslim problem. Always has been and always will be. From the Pacific Rim, the Phillipines, indonesia, Russia, Iran, Israel London,France the US, China, India, all of northern Africa. It baffles that this cancer has been able to wage war upon humanity for so long. Best of all, the Muslims save the most deadly conflicts for other Muslims, so how can we percieve this as anthing but a death cult. Where are the Muslims marching? Where?, When there is an outpouring of revolt against the fanatical maniacs, within the Muslim countries, then and only then, will I be willing to listen. Instead, we see death celebrations, matyr TV and candy showering on the homicidal maniacs of this cult.

  • elenmarsh

    I think Mr. Patel makes several good points. If I were Muslim I would also be frightened by the number of people out there who judge many based on few and are blinded by misguided hatred for a people and religion they know next to nothing about. How can you claim to know “enough” about something without experiencing it personally with an open mind? There will be fundamentalists and “terrorists” in every religion, but they do not represent the mass majority. If people continue to fear and hate with little real cause, this world will never improve. Why must we judge so much, knowing so little?

  • AKafir

    @EllenMarsh: “Why must we judge so much, knowing so little?”How about those who know quite a bit and they judge and condemn the ideology the Islam propogates? Eboo Patel never ever responds and answers any question raised. The word of Allah condemning the very notion of Interfaith Dialog has been posted for Eboo, and he chooses to not address it. I spent years studying Islam and I assure you that Islam is an extremely violent ideology towards the non-muslims. You as a non-muslim woman are barely a human in the eyes of Islamic sharia. I encourage you to learn as much about Islam as you can. Once you do, then you will see why Islam can be and should be condemned without reservation.

  • abrahamhab1

    Caliph made the following accusation:The war of Muslims against the rest of the world began during the life of their prophet over fourteen hundred years ago and never really stopped. It is not as evident now as it was let us say when their marauding Arabian tribes overran and pillaged Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Spain among others. They are not involved in wars of conuqests and colonizations now not because they repented but because they are impotent.

  • GordonShumway

    Peaceful Muslims making good American citizens is a pleasant thought, but totally unrealistic. They will exist peacefully as long as they are making gains, both politically and illegally through support from bottom feeders like the ACLU and Soros’ bunch. Bottom line, they don’t care about Americans, or any non-muslims and total domination is the only true ending for their goals. Sounds like it might soon be time for cowboys and muslims……………

  • good-bad-n-ugly

    Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….Aummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…Amennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn…

  • Arif2

    “I think Mr. Patel makes several good points. If I were Muslim I would also be frightened by the number of people out there who judge many based on few and are blinded by misguided hatred for a people and religion they know next to nothing about. “You are misaken, we know plenty about this cult (Islam) and it’s prophet (Mohammed -POH). We are not blinded we are enlightened. Study islam and what it does to its people and you’ll find out. Don’t believe your “friend” the Muslim.

  • good-bad-n-ugly

    “Testing, Testing, 1,2,3″”Earth To ALLAH, Can Ye Read i [WE]? Over.”Again, “Earth To G-D, can Ye read i [US]“? Over.”Earth to Ishvara, can ye Hear i [ME]?” Over.”Earth to ………….. O’ Lord”?”O’ HOUSTON; Now We have a [big] Problem!_____If someone talks to themselves and answers self; then thats Not so bad; but if Ye PRAY (Talk) to IT or MEDITATE (Listen) to IT; and IT talks back to YO then; Houston; Ye really have a Problem (Need of Medical Mental attention).

  • abrahamhab1

    @EllenMarsh: “Why must we judge so much(about Islam), knowing so little?”Suffice it to say that the most outspoken critics of Islam are ex Muslims. AKafir is one of them but there are many others. Wafa Sultan, Hirsi Ali and Nonie Darwish are but a few who wrote about their experiences with Islam.

  • cadam72

    The anti-Muslim rhetoric here is amazing. If you are a Christian please do not rush to comdemn. Where was your outrage at the Huturee (sp) militia of wisconsin who wanted to kill cops, or David Koresh or the Christian militias of Sudan or comdemning Pat Roberts for his hatred,etc? Every religion has it’s militant side and be aware of your own. To ask a muslim in America why they are not loudly against religious “leaders” in Iraq is to ask yourself why you have not personally acted on the violence in Africa where “Christians” are killing homosexuals and enlisting 12 yr olds in civil war. Yes militant islam is a HUGE issue but should not denograte the peaceful people who practice the religion world wide and especially in America. For those who “quote” the hatred and killing in the Koran of 1300 yrs ago, yes it is there, but also look at, and discuss the similar language in the Bible of 2000 yrs agosuch as “They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers,…and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chron 15:12-13)or “If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife,…, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. (Deut 13:7-12). Reach out to others and learn wht you have in common.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Akafir:Jesus is not Nonviolent. See the passages I quote. Read the NT. And simply consider the notion of a GOD so miserable, so hateful that he would consider Adam and Eve’s disobedience unforgivable. Literally. He therefore needed to send his Son to earth to be tortured to death by humans. This was atonement. Jesus died for “our” sins.In Judaism, the Adam and Eve myth is explanatory. It suggests that we have a tendency to err. It explains human imperfection. It gives Jews Tikkun Olam–perfecting, or healing the world. The principles are the “way,” the path. Period.I did not invent the foregoing. Many, many Christian/Catholic theologians have been highly critical of the NT, including in their criticism its title and its “typology.” They refer to the dark side, dark underpinnings, throwback to pre-Judaic times, borrowings from the mystery religions of the region.For a good Catholic perspective, see Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fratricide.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Those who quote passages from Quoran to demonstrate its “viciousness” might want to recall some charming passages from the New Testament.John# As an example to parents everywhere and to save the world (from himself), God had his own son tortured and killed. 3:16# People are damned or saved depending only on what they believe. 3:18, 36# The “wrath of God” is on all unbelievers. 3:36# Jesus believes people are crippled by God as a punishment for sin. He tells a crippled man, after healing him, to “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” 5:14# Those who do not believe in Jesus will be cast into a fire to be burned. 15:6# Jesus says we must eat his flesh and drink his blood if we want to have eternal life. This idea was just too gross for “many of his disciples” and “walked no more with him.” 6:53-66 There are others one could cite, many.

  • AKafir

    @Farnaz:I have read your passages. I do not find a single violent act of Jesus amongst them. Can you please explicitly state what violence did the Character of Jesus do?

  • AKafir

    @Cadam72:”Yes militant islam is a HUGE issue but should not denograte the peaceful people who practice the religion world wide and especially in America. For those who “quote” the hatred and killing in the Koran of 1300 yrs ago,”The point is not of the killing in the Koran of 1300 years ago. I am not a christian, but I know enough to know that it is nearly impossible to lay the violence of the Christians at the feet of Jesus. Christians when committing violence finds it nearly impossible to justify their bloodfest to the character of Jesus. That is not so in Islam. Muslims emulate Muhammad to the smallest detail in their lives, and Muhammad was extremely violent and hateful towards the non-muslims. That hatred is reflected in the present through out the Muslim world towards the non-muslims. It is the violence in the present and not 1300 years ago that is the heart of the problem.

  • AKafir

    @Farnaz:I am no christian and I am neither a jew nor a Muslim. I have read and discussed eastern religions with their adherents. Personally, I am not convinced that any one of Noah, Abraham, Moses, or the associated prophets associate with them were historically real. I am not sure that Jesus was real. However, what you quote from the bible sounds more like “literary flourish” to make some points. Example, are you saying that Jesus told his followers that they should become cannibals and eat him alive or eat him after he is dead? If you do not think that it is a literal statement, then what is the point in quoting that? Am I correct in understanding so far that Jesus is a non-violent character, and there is no killing, raping, murder, looting, etc. that is ascribed to him by his followers or detractors?