On March 11, I posted an email exchange with a Muslim gentleman who asked me if I "seek to promote understanding of Islam as a universal message for mankind, or perpetuate the current climate of fear and potential backlash among non-Muslims particularly in the U.S. whose perception of Islam and Muslims is molded by media, fanatical christian extremism, and anti-terrorism thinking." I asked him if those were my only two choices. He has written back a few times, and a few minutes ago I received this from him. He trots out some familiar tu-quoque arguments, as if the presence of evil outside Islam justifies evil perpetrated by Muslims. My replies are interspersed.
I am sure this will probably the last exchange between us. I have
visited your site again, hoping to find in addition to the "jihadist"
orientation at least some reference to other "extremist" thought.
I did not see any reference to the recent capture of Eric Randolph -
the domestic terrorist who has admitted to the Atlanta Olympics
bombing and host of other domestic terror acts. Nor do I see any
reference to the so-called Christian Identity movement, which some
pondits state may be using Christianity to flavor white supremist
Look again at the masthead. This is "Jihad Watch," not "Christian Identity Watch."
Nor is the Christian Identity movement anywhere near the global threat that the jihad is. Nor is "Christian Identity" anywhere near the mainstream of Christianity, as the jihad is mainstream in Islam.
Or maybe you would mention the Jewish extremists who demostrated against the recent plans of the Sharon govenment to withdraw from the settlements in Palestine.
Look again at the masthead. This is "Jihad Watch," not "Jewish extremist watch."
Anyway, when these "Jewish extremists" start beheading Muslims in large numbers, write me again.
If I had noticed these references or similar references to extremist ideologies, then I could feel that there may be a desire to bring to light the fallacy of extremism in any religion or culture. Unfortunately, however that is not the case.
Correct. This is "Jihad Watch," not "The Fallacy of Extremism In Any Religion Or Culture Watch." Start such a group if you think there is a need, but any reasonable person will see that jihad is a far greater global threat than the other examples of "extremism" you adduce.
Yes, there are problems among the Muslims, just as there are problems among other religo-social groups in the world. And as Islam does have the solution to all the problems of society and mankind, there are those who, just like any other religion manipulate or mis-interpret religious tenets to secure specific interests usually at the consequence of other innocent people.
So you say. I do not share the view that the institution of a legal system that mandates stoning, amputation, and discrimination against non-Muslims and women is "the solution to all the problems of society and mankind."
However, Islam will be corrected by the Muslims using Islam - not re-defined by other. The misuse of the foundation of Jihad in Islam is being addressed and will be corrected throughout the Muslim world with Allah's help and the beauty of Islam will shine again to benefit the world.
Fine. Correct it, and I will applaud you.
But I do not have confidence in the approach that you are taking simply because it appears to perpetuate the paranoia or fear that Americans have been confronted with over history. It's the Muslim's turn now.
That's a lot of hooey. The Muslim's turn for what? Muslims have it better in the US than in many Muslim countries. They have full civil rights. They are not persecuted. Allegations to the contrary are paranoid fantasies, not borne out by the facts.
I pray Allah that there will be understanding among all peoples, not only the correction of extremist Muslims, but also correction of extremist Jews, Christians, Hindus and other groups who use spirituality to breed hatred. This is not God's way, as I am sure you will agree.
I trust you will address this same message to Omar Bakri, late of Al-Muhajiroun, who held a seminar last year entitled "The Obligation of Inciting Religious Hatred."
Maybe if I work to understand Islam better from the authentic sources and help spread that understanding among Muslims and non-Muslims and you work to understand your beliefs and help to bring about constuctive dialog, then perhaps Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom will foster peace among peoples as He sees fit.
Mmm-hmmm. I think if you look honestly at those authentic sources of Islam, you will find that they don't preach the message of peace you seem to think they do.
I pray for guidance to us all to the best in seeking God's pleasure in our lives and success in the hereafter.
Best regards and peace to you,
And to your spirit.