American Muslim Cultures and Education Forward to friends

  • View author's info Author Posted on Dec 13, 2004 at 02:43 PM

    American Muslim

    The United States has its share of visitors every year. Some men and women are here to work, others come to study, while others are tourists; I am here to stay. Like it or not, I am bound to the land through my work and memories. The constant reminder that my religion is under siege here in the United States has not wavered my loyalties to my country. Islam and the United States had a shotgun wedding on September 11, 2001. Separated by centuries of misunderstanding and neglect, the two are now struggling to understand each other over night. The suspicions and lack of trust between Muslims and the United States government, has the ability to escalate into nation wide civil unrest; that is, unless a strong effort to diffuse the existing tension is supported by the American people. Unlike the visitors who are passing through, I am here for the duration of my life. The responsibility of fixing what went wrong between Islam and the United States, falls to the Muslims, who are already home.

    I do not believe it is impossible to mend the relationship between Islam and the United States government. The task seems epic in complexity, and still it is a challenge waiting to be overcome by those who will champion our cause. The need for accurate recognition of Islam in the West has never been stronger. This is not the time to shy away, hoping everything will turn out alright. As an American Muslims I have the responsibility of spanning the gap of intolerance that has been left unchecked between my faith, and my country. It is time to get involved in shaping the future of the United States policy towards Islam. It is time to take sensible action to improve our public image. We can speak out in our local communities against those who would use Islam as a punch line to hide their malevolent intentions. Educated Muslims in the United States must leave the safety of their own homes, and go out in to the world to teach true Islam to those who will listen. Personally I recommend targeting the media machine that fires the negative propaganda war against Islam. Reform the Medias speculative reporting, and positive change will begin to take hold. Show the western media a united Muslim front against intolerance, racism, and religious oppression. Every man and woman in the United States is entitled to their inalienable rights to practice their faith in peace. Are Muslims so different that our own rights can be overlooked, because of public ignorance towards our religion?

    All relationships have compromises. It is easy to blame the United Stated government for the Western outlook on Islam. Truth is Muslims are as much at fault for our current plight as anyone else. To many times I have heard an immigrant Muslim put down the United States because their upset about something. As an American Muslim I agree with that persons right to their views; on the other hand, I will not join them in putting down my country. The parallel to this scenario would be me visiting a foreign country and publicly expressing disgust for their policies and people. That?s not right, in fact it?s disrespectful. It is easy for me to tell people visiting the United States, who dislike the country, to ?Get Out!? This one sided demand would not resolve anything, in fact I would be taking a step in the wrong direction. Instead of asking people to leave, I say ?Please stay and learn more about my culture, and my country.? Ostracizing people who don?t agree with me, only builds intolerance. To the Muslims who are just visiting, I ask you to remember why you left behind the people and places you knew to begin your life again in the United States? If you are leaving and going back home share your positive memories of the United States with your family, friends, and neighbors. Tell them about the civil liberties you enjoyed, show them pictures of our neighborhoods, and tell them about the people you met here. Encourage those who want to visit to come here and experience our way of life for them selves. To think we are all bad people who wish to control the world is completely inaccurate. Generalization always leads to myths, and misguided rumors. American?s are so diverse in our faith, ethnicity, and experiences that the only thing keeping us together is our laws, and constitution. Treat us as individuals, each one a possibility to make a new friend or confidant.

    There are reasons why people become disillusions by the United States. Maybe they lost a family member, or their business failed because of an American? Are these reasons to hate an entire country of several million individuals? Sometimes problems arise that seem to have no alternative answer, other than, violent retaliation. It is exactly at this time that Muslims should seek guidance from Qur?an. Ask yourself is violence your only means of expression, keeping in mind that killing someone else does not resurrect the dead, and taking a life does not produce new capital over night. Islam condemns the wholesale slaughter of innocent lives. A pilot might be guilty of taking an innocent life. That man should be punished, not thousands of lives that had nothing to do with the incident. On the other hand, the Islamaphobia Americans carry around is unjustified. Their suspicions and intolerance for a religion they do not understand must be remedied with facts. Speaking for myself, I don?t want to hurt anyone, and I don?t want war. The United States and Islam have reached an impasse. The only way out of this stalemate is to reason with one anther, to hear each other grievances, and to work together to mend our civil and religious misunderstandings.
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    Men and women, who hate the United States as a whole, do so with out moral boundaries. Muhammad Atta believed he would strike a righteous blow for Islam against the United States when he piloted a plane into the world trade center. Atta must have shown some concern for the Muslims aboard the same plane he was flying. He must have stopped to think about the Muslim working inside the towers that morning. Even after pondering the outcome of his actions on innocent Muslim lives, he continued with his plans. He was destined to make his point, and no one was going to deter him from completing his political agenda. How many Muslim families lost a loved one during the terrible events on September the 11th? I don?t believe one of those Muslim victims woke up that morning and said ?Today I am going to martyr myself by sitting in my office, and having a jetliner end my life.? This is the story we don?t hear about. When extremists take justice into their own hands, they are blinded by their single mindedness, and lose sight of their intended target. Here in the United States a Muslim runs the same risk of losing his or her life to an extremist attack, as does a Gentile or a Jew. If you live within the boarders of the United States and applaud the actions of extremist cells that call themselves warriors of god, you are inviting death on yourself and your family.

    It might be hard for others to accept my views on the United States. Why should I support a government that seems bent on causing strife to Muslim countries? I do not support the killing of innocent people, especially if they are Muslim, or my countrymen. What I do support is the removal of tyrants, and the introduction of the democratic way of life to countries that have been denied its shelter. Saddam Hussein had to be removed from power. Any man who would sanction the use of cyanide and mustard gas against non combatants, like he did on the town of Halabaja in 1988, does not deserve to remain in power. Speak with Iraqi citizens, and with Kurdish refugees, they will tell you the real story about Saddam controlled Iraq. The first four Muslim Caliphates, form Abu-Bakr to Muawiya were all founded as democracies. Is it a fantasy to want a democratic government for the Iraq? Governments around the world knew the level of human suffering in Iraq, and they did nothing to prevent the horrors and atrocities that went on under Hussein?s rule. I do not believe Saddam Hussein was a good Muslim, and that he governed Iraq as a Muslim state. With the creation of a new democratic Iraqi government, the people will once again have an opportunity to be lead by Muslims with a strong base in Islam. I have to support my country because I have lived under its rule, and experienced a life of freedom unheard of in some parts of the world. If United States intervention in the Middle East means that Iraqis will have an opportunity to experience life as I have, then yes, I support my government?s decision to give Iraq back to its people.

    Right now the United States is lashing out against its perceived enemies. After the 9/11 attacks Americans pleaded with their leadership, demanded action be taken for the destruction of the Twin Towers. The government replied by creating a campaign against well known extremists. If the government would have done nothing, extremists around the world would have seen that as a sign of weakness. This would have encouraged those contemplating terror attacks on the United States to implement their plans. The Taliban were targeted because of their close links to extremist groups. They were defeated, and a new Afghani government was instated to help rebuild the country back to its former self. Under the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction, the United States attacked Iraq. We were wrong to use the treat of biological and nuclear weapons as the reason to instigate a war. What the United States should have said from the very beginning is ?We are going to remove Saddam Hussein form power, and give the Iraqi people back their right to rule themselves as they see fit.? The campaign in Iraq will soon be over. A new Iraqi government will be instated in January of 2005. This means a new constitution for Iraq?s people, the lifting of economic embargoes, and the termination of foreign political sanctions against the country. Iraq has a bright, prosperous future to look forward too, a future where it is lead by qualified Muslim leaders who seek peace with the West, and peace within its own boarders.

    The United States government is not perfect, and that is why we have our laws to aid us in replacing those who abuse their power. As a Muslim I feel my rights to practice Islam is being compromised by bigotry and prejudice, but its not being taken away. This is a far cry from what is currently happening to people in other countries struggling for religious recognition. Take for instance the believers of Falun Gong in China. While I may have to endure hate crimes in the future; Falun Gong believers have to endure imprisonment, the horrors of torture, brain washing, and the inevitable denouncement of their faith to please their government. I consider myself lucky to live in a country where the government does not force me to give up my religion under treat of death. This is why I support my government, and why I must show solidarity with my leaders.

    I believe American suffers from imperial hubris. The governing body believes it can fix the worlds problems by simply waving money around, dispatching troops, or sweeping unmentionables out of the way. This overseer mentality has been bred into the United States for almost a century by the Global community. How many times in the past has a foreign sovereign requested aid from the United States to resolve its domestic problems? Let us not forget WWI, WWII, or Kuwait. I doubt the world would be a safer place if the United States decided to close its boarders to outside influences, and recall their overseas military forces. Remember the countries of the world have been oppressed by European, Middle Eastern, and Asian powers far longer then they have from the United States. The United States is slowly learning how to cooperate with Muslim countries. Eventually the wars will end, and peace will prevail. The more the United States interacts with the Middle East, the more insight it will gain on Islam. With time new laws will be drafted, and new policies will be created to help the two coexist peacefully, Inshallah.

    I hope the United States is fighting a war against oppression and political extremists, not a war against Islam. There is a distinction between political extremists and every day Muslims, just like there is a difference between Islam and Middle Eastern culture. The United States momentum generated out of fear and ignorance towards Islam must be curbed through the intervention of its citizens. The responsibility of American Muslims is to focus our resources into educating our leaders, politicians, and children. We have to show them the true face of Islam. The only thing I can do to alleviate the suffering of Muslims and United States personal over seas, is press my government to reevaluate its objectives, and bring the war to an end as soon as possible. Regardless of my personal views on the United States government, I am not at liberty to turn my back on her, not when she needs me the most. I am an American Muslim, and I love my country.
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  • 4Comments

  • View author's info Posted on Sep 08, 2007 at 05:08 AM

    I'm Canadian and I do not know that much of American stuff.

    Muslims in America need to engage their government at the political level.
  • View author's info Posted on Mar 18, 2005 at 09:03 PM

    islam is the fastest growing religion in the world approximately 29,000,000 african americans most of who find islam daily 28,000,000 hispanics 20,000 already found islam 275,000,000 caucasian some finding true religion daily {islam} approximately 6,000,000 asian american some who have already found true religion of islam and approximately 300,000, middleeasterners who may have found islam 150,000 africans who may have found islam as well the united states have come to know islam by allah's choice islam will be the dominant religion in america in the next twenty years.with only approximately 365,000,000 people in the united states islam will have its reign as we had our reign in spain allah says inna deena endallayee islam this means indeed islam is the religion of god.meaning nations will know one another and it will be nations against nations as you see wars now in the end nations will know nations being there are over one billion muslims in the world 875,000,000 africans in africa {muslims in africa}3,86,000,000 asian in the world who have the largest muslim population in the world.,and still growing 291,000,000 middleasterners in the world 90% who are already muslim so yes islam is the fastest growing religion in the world read qu'ran suratul al asr the declining day {by the time man is at lost.}= they believe partners of god. save those who believe and do good and exhort one another to truth and have patience. islam will be the truth in the end just have patience. sabr as salamu aliekum
  • View author's info Posted on Mar 18, 2005 at 08:23 PM

    islam is the fastest by all means necessary growing religion in the world, not just the usa.there are approximately 648,000,000 christians in the world and approximately 1,000,000,000 muslims in the world today.last i've checked there are almost 20,000 latino muslims in america,60,000,000 muslims in russia,30,000,000 muslims in canada islam is the religion of god. inna deena endallayee islam..
  • View author's info Posted on Dec 22, 2004 at 11:52 PM

    You make very good points. Its good that we are proud to be American muslims.I think we hve to be careful of being apologetic about our religion though. We should not tolerate people putting our country down. But, muslims are obligated to the truth. We should see things as right or wrong rather than american non-american or muslim or non-muslim. If someone says something about america that is wrong and negative I will correct them. If they say something that is true but its a negative, I will support them. Our country has many good points, but bad points also.On paper the american constitution has many things in common with islamic law, more than some people care to admit.But when it comes to the laws manifesting itself in the social strcture of america, thats another story. I agree we are at fault more than anybody, we need to educate people more about our religion. But on the posative side, Islam is growing the fastest right here in the US.
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