Dr. Adel Eldin is “a Hernando County cardiologist and leader in the Muslim community” there. In this piece in the St. Petersburg Times (thanks to all who sent this in) he manifests deep denial about Islamic terrorism, and the resulting “Islamophobia.”
Let the world know, American Muslims strongly condemn terrorism and all terrorists, whoever they are and wherever they may be. We love our country and are very proud to be American and Muslim.
Taking a scientific approach to the problem, first we should diagnosis it, then treat it.
The Diagnosis: The disease called Islamophobia (or fear of Islam and Muslims with the rise of terrorism). It has been perpetuated mostly by ignorance, and partly with deception and misinformation before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
As much as terrorists hijacked our religion, extreme right-wing neoconservatives hijacked our administration, and it seemed to every Muslim that America is at war with Islam the religion, not with the terrorists who have hurt us. As you, we wanted to bring terrorists to justice. It seemed the facts did not matter anymore, as negative and false perceptions became the rule, not the exception, about Islam and Muslims.
Islam in the media is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilization (an idea put in Samuel Huntington’s 1998 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order). Thus, anti-Muslim hostility is seen, which includes demonizing Islam and attacking our prophet and holy book (the Koran), and waging a smear campaign on radio talk shows, TV programs and the Internet.
The treatment: I believe the therapy will include education and outreach and kindness. Ignorance constitutes 90 to 95 percent of the problem; the remaining 5 percent of the problem will need to be dealt with by law enforcement.
Of course, “ignorance” is the problem. Ain’t it always. And wouldn’t you know it, every time a Muslim kills a non-Muslim in the name of Islam, more and more people grow ignorant of Islam. Dr. Eldin’s article, of course, is part of a larger effort to convince Americans that any Muslim who commits violence in the name of Islam is not a genuine Muslim, and that the genuine article is peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. And tolerant. One problem with such “education” efforts is that they do nothing to prevent “genuine” Muslims from turning without warning into “false” ones.
Do Muslims in America really want to decrease fear and mistrust directed toward them? Easy. Just follow these four simple steps:
1. Stop blaming violent acts committed by Muslims in the name of Islam on the various sins of unbelievers.
2. Establish nationwide, compulsory programs in American mosques to teach against the jihad ideology and Islamic supremacism, by means including an explicit and definitive rejection of the literal meaning of many passages of Qur’an and Hadith.
3. Stop saying violent or hateful things in private when you think no non-Muslims are around. For example, the imam Umar Abdul-Jalil, executive director of ministerial services for the New York City Department of Correction, was secretly recorded last year while speaking at an Islamic conference in Arizona. Muslims, he said, invoking Qur’an 48:29, must be “compassionate with each other” and “hard against the kufr [unbeliever].” In Britain, Hamid Ali, imam of the mosque frequented by the July 7 bombers, praised the bombers and called their terror attack “good” in a conversation secretly recorded by an undercover journalist. Publicly, he had condemned the attacks. In a mosque in the Czech Republic, a Muslim secretly filmed by a documentary filmmaker says Islamic Shari”a law, including the stoning of adulterers, should be adopted by the Czech Republic. Cleveland imam Fawaz Damra, who has since been deported for failing to disclose his ties to terror groups, signed the Fiqh Council of North America’s condemnation of terrorism, despite having declared at an Islamic conference that “terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation.”
Do such incidents mean that every Muslim who professes to have adopted Western notions of pluralism and the equality of dignity and rights of non-Muslims and Muslims is dissembling? Of course not. But they do mean that non-Muslims are perfectly justified in being suspicious even when Muslim profess moderation and opposition to terror. Consequently deeds, not just words, are needed. To conclude my four recommendations, genuinely anti-terror Muslims should:
4. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
But it is unlikely that any of that will be done. Instead, these poor mistrusted, misunderstood folks will keep crying “Islamophobia” and trying to manipulate the American legal and political systems.