Hello, just wanted to post a nice article authored by a Muslim friend against the "new wave of anti-Islamic rhetoric".
I would advise to read it on the site, it has pictures to go along with it and a booklet in the site of an extensive report conducted by Duke
University and UNC Chapel Hill entitled “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans.” It compiled a list of 139 individuals categorized as
“Muslim-American terrorism offenders” who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time — a rate of 17 per year. Please don't post unless
you've read all of this article and what I've posted myself at the near end (about Wahhabis).
Hate undermines productive dialogue
Hate undermines productive dialogue
Hate has a new name these days, and it’s name is Islamophobia. A new wave of anti-Islamic rhetoric has hit the airwaves. The most prominent of these
instances comes in the form of harassment of Muslims in Orange County, CA. Several hundred members of the Tea Party hurled lewd comment after lewd
comment at Muslims attending a fundraiser. Their venomous words and uncensored bigotry were utterly baseless. One woman said that “I know a few
Marines who will be happy to help ‘these terrorists’ to an early meeting in Paradise.” This is an explicit threat. If a person made such a claim
in reference to Judaism they would be indefinitely branded an anti-Semite and have no chance whatsoever of a political career. Another person made
accusations that Muslim men beat their wives daily. Did I mention that the fundraiser was to help combat homelessness and hunger and support women’s
The original video has actually been taken down due to a copyright claim. Unsurprisingly, this group’s efforts backfired and the outcries across the
country at the incident have only exposed them for what they are: a crowd of bigots with nothing better to do with their time. Several members claimed
that Islam in itself is evil: what? Where did this come from? One has to question the intelligence – or lack thereof – and sanity of anyone who
would make such a sweeping claim without a shred of evidence. Others who do not identify with this group have the slightly more tame position that
Islam is the source of violent radicalization, which is still an essentialist claim and clearly reductionist. This notion is related to the current
situation on Capitol Hill.
In the coming weeks, congressman Peter King (R) of New York intends to hold congressional hearings on what he calls Islamic radicalization. He also
contends that Muslims have not been cooperative enough with law enforcement on helping deal with problems of radicalization. His claim needs to be
substantiated, which we’ll see as the hearings proceed. As for his terminology, there is a problem of language. Islamic orthodoxy by definition does
not condone radicalism or extremism. This is not mere political correctness as he has claimed, but rather a distinct specification that not only
clarifies the phenomenon, but on a more practical level prevents actual extremists from using incidents like this to radicalize susceptible youths by
pointing to the demonization of Islam worldwide. It is easy to stir up youths who feel as though their very identity is being attacked when they see
the general air of negativity around Islam, see Muslims being killed in the media, and want to do something about it. Extremists offer them something
to do, but it is clearly something that is destructive for both themselves and the society at large. This clarification of terminology does not mean
that radicalization is not an issue: it is. Are there Muslims who are radicals? Yes, but that does not mean that Islam as a religion condones their
actions, just as Christians would not condone the blowing up of abortion clinics. This is a crucial point of distinction because the term: “Islamic
radicalization” implies religious justification of terrorism, of which there is none. Nothing could be theologically farther from orthodox teachings
and practice. Allah revealed in the Holy Qur’an a verse that means: “Whoever kills one person [unjustly] it is as if he has killed all mankind,
and whoever saves one life it is as if he has saved the lives of all mankind”
A primary reason that many tie Islam in particular to radicalization is that many terrorists who are self-proclaimed Muslims – even if not in
actuality – identify the religion explicitly as a motivating factor for their actions. Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup center, says
that such actions are “often times framed as being devoted to the faith rather than being deviant.” Her sentiments are echoed by others in the
academic community. Current Senior Director for Global Engagement of the National Security Council and former Rhodes College professor Quintin
Wiktorowitz posits that very religious Muslims are in fact the people who end up being the most resistant to radicalization; those who do not have a
good grounding in the religion are the most susceptible to radicalization. This is no surprise for any Muslim with modest religious education, but the
fact that this claim is backed by substantive qualitative data conducted by himself and others speaks volumes. In addition to this hearing, there is
also related legislation being put forward at the state level.
Recently a bill was proposed before Tennessee legislators by State Sen. Bill Ketron (R) and state Rep. Judd Matheny to make following Shari`ah law a
felony. 12 other states have also proposed similar bills. Firstly, what is Shari`ah law? In brief, it is the code of conduct followed by all Muslims.
This includes prohibitions of killing unjustly, harming one’s spouse, etc. Without delving unnecessarily into its legal nuances, it is enough to say
that following Shari`ah does not necessitate undermining US law as is suggested by these two legislators. That is to say, following Shari`ah does not
necessitate breaking US law. On the contrary, such legislation will only serve to alienate and ostracize Muslims further and create fertile ground for
radicalization. The code also includes aspects specifying the ritual ablution before prayer, the integrals of alms-giving, etc. So, according to this
bill, it would be illegal for a Muslim to wash his/her feet in order to pray. Moreover, consider the prohibition of stealing. If this bill was passed,
it would be like saying “not stealing is illegal.” So, does he want Muslims to steal? Spare me this nonsense. Lastly, every Muslim follows
Shari`ah law (to varying degrees, granted, but they follow it nonetheless). Such legislation would effectively make it illegal to be a Muslim in the
United States. This is insanity.
(TN Sen. Bill Ketron)
The Tennessean hosted a poll in which it asked respondents for their thoughts. About 40% of people that voted on this poll are in support of an
anti-Shariah law of some kind. Such a number should trouble any sane, concerned citizen who knows that this proposition is not only horrendously
misinformed and rooted in bigotry, but a waste of taxpayers’ money and legislators’ time. Now, I don’t anticipate that the bill will pass, as it
is so glaringly unconstitutional, but the fact that it was even proposed and that a considerable percentage of poll voters supported it is unsettling
to say the least.
(Various community leaders in opposition to the Anti-Shari`ah bill)
The take away point from this is that radicalization is not Islamic. In fact, orthodox Islamic education is the antidote. Intelligence and law
enforcement is part of it, but it cannot be the basis if long term, positive results are to come from such an effort. “Counter-radicalization also
has to include things like politicians visiting Muslim communities, messaging, and beefing up education about Islam among Muslims themselves, so they
can better resist radical recruiters.” says Wiktorowitz. Muslims are allies in the fight against radicalization according to his data and the
extensive report conducted by Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill entitled “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans.” It compiled a list of 139
individuals categorized as “Muslim-American terrorism offenders” who had become radicalized in the U.S. in that time — a rate of 17 per year.
One wonders in light of this information where this mass hysteria over “creeping Shari`ah” comes from, but that is for another article.
(Click to go to report)
I also propose the somewhat basic, yet profound act of shared experiences with Muslims. A survey conducted in 2010 by the Gallup Center for Muslim
Studies found 53 percent of Americans view Islam unfavorably compared with 42 percent who view the religion favorably. It is no coincidence that those
who tend to view Islam unfavorably have never met a Muslim. 63 percent of those surveyed said they either know just a little bit about the religion or
don’t know anything at all. It is much easier to demonize a person when one has had no interpersonal contact to humanize them. Perhaps the Muslim
next door likes baseball. Why not ask him to play a game? Perhaps that girl who wears hijab would like to go to the gym with you. Mutual distrust and
hasty generalizations will only fan the flames of radicalization, not douse them. There is a hermeneutical dimension to this proposition that I
believe will help facilitate disclosure of the most effective approach to radicalization that these hearings will hopefully shed light on.
Hate undermines productive dialogue
Initially, I just wanted to post the article, but this is also related to it (at least to extremism), part of a previous thread of mine:
PBS had done an interview on a Shia' guy who had went to a Wahhabi school, the following is the link and the interview from the link:
Reporter: If you go to school in Saudi Arabia, what do you learn about people who are not followers of Wahhabi, of the prophet?
Boy: "The religious curriculum in Saudi Arabia teaches you that people are basically two sides: Salafis [Wahhabis], who are the winners, the chosen
ones, who will go to heaven, and the rest. The rest are Muslims and Christians and Jews and others. They are either kafirs, who are deniers of God, or
mushrak, putting gods next to God, or enervators, that's the lightest one. The enervators of religion who are they call the Sunni Muslims who ... for
instance, celebrate Prophet Mohammed's birthday, and do some stuff that is not accepted by Salafis. And all of these people are not accepted by
Salafi as Muslims. As I said, "claimant to Islam." And all of these people are supposed to be hated, to be persecuted, even killed. And we have
several clergy -- not one Salafi clergy -- who have said that against the Shi'a and against the other Muslims. And they have done it in Algeria, in
Afghanistan. This is the same ideology. They just have the same opportunity. They did it in Algeria and Afghanistan, and now New York. ..."
Reporter: What do you mean, it reached New York?
Boy: "Well, when it was a local problem, the American media did not really care much about it. But until September 11, you saw how this faith of
hate, I call it, did to all of us, to New Yorkers and to the rest of the world, honestly. ..."
Reporter: But the Saudi government has condemned what happened on September 11.... Boy: "... Yes, Prince Nayif condemned bin Laden, and other
princes... Prince Turki condemned bin Laden. They did not condemn that message. They condemned bin Laden. ... Bin Laden learned this in Saudi Arabia.
He didn't learn it in the moon. That message that Bin Laden received, it still is taught in Saudi Arabia. And if bin Laden dies, and this policy or
curriculum stays, we will have other bin Ladens. ..."
In short, Wahhabis misconstrue Religious Scriptures to legitimize what they call "honor killings" or "jihad", among other egregious acts of which
aren't in Islam.
Random question, but what does OP mean?