On this day of remembrance, a Muslim restates the majority view:
“Opinion: Terrorists hijacked the Muslim faith,” by Saqib A. Zuberi for the San Jose Mercury News, September 10 (thanks to Doug):
As the nation remembers the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, the heart and soul of the Muslim remembers fellow Americans who died tragically in the terrorist attacks that Tuesday morning. Not only did the terrorists wage war on America, but they also hijacked the religion of Islam.
Zuberi, like virtually all others, doesn’t spell out exactly how the terrorists hijacked Islam. Presumably we are to believe that their cries of “Allahu akbar” and the jihadists’ justifications of their actions based on Islamic theology and law are false representations of Islamic teaching, and that Islam actually does not condone — but does not condone what? For Zuberi, as for virtually all others, the answer is apparently that Islam does not condone “terrorism.”
Very well. But even if one accepts that nothing like terrorism is meant by the Qur’an’s injunction to Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (8:60), the difficulty with this is that Islamic jihadists themselves don’t speak about terrorism. They speak of their activities in the context of Islamic jihad. But “jihad” is a word that does not appear in this article. Does Zuberi disapprove of jihad against unbelievers? Of jihad violence? Of Islamic supremacism? If he does, he doesn’t say so here.
Last week, former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stated: “For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the term ‘Islamic terrorism.’ I imagine they believe it is politically incorrect to say it. I think they believe they will insult someone. Please tell me who they are insulting if they say, ‘Islamic terrorism.’ They are insulting terrorists!”
These statements refute the post-Sept. 11 efforts of all hard-working, loyal Muslim-Americans who have denounced terrorism from all groups and in all forms. The words actually encourage those terrorists who hijacked the Islamic faith.
This is not in the least true on any level. Even if the terrorists had hijacked the Islamic faith, they did what they did in the name of Islam and because of Islam as they understood it. Islam was how they explained their actions; Islam was what motivated their actions. Thus it is perfectly legitimate to speak of “Islamic terrorism” even if one believes that Islam actually teaches that Muslims and non-Muslims should live together as equals on an indefinite basis. It no more “refutes” anti-terror Muslims than the phrase “Italian fascism” “refutes” anti-fascist Italians. As I have pointed out many, many times, to speak of Islamic terrorism is not to say that all terrorists are Muslims any more than to speak of “fair-minded media figures” is to say that all media figures are fair-minded.
But Zuberi charges on in the same vein:
The rhetoric used against terrorism must be directed toward real terrorists and not toward the Islamic faith that their actions contradict. Associating the word “Islamic” with “terrorism” lumps in all Muslims. Our country’s leadership should be wiser. It should send a clear message that American Muslims aspire for the same freedoms and security for their families and homes as do all other Americans.
Our country’s leadership is wiser — wiser, that is, by Zuberi’s lights. Hasn’t he heard of the politically correct directives forbidding officials from speaking about Islam in connection with terrorism?
In any case, in reality it is not up to “our country’s leadership” to “send a clear message that American Muslims aspire for the same freedoms and security for their families and homes as do all other Americans.” It is up to Muslims in America to do that. Have they done so? In fact, no. What we get are disingenuous and misleading statements like this present article. Why won’t Muslim spokesmen ever say that yes, they reject jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, and don’t believe Sharia should ever be imposed in the West? Could it be because…they don’t reject those things? Their continued lack of specificity in their denunciations of terrorism (as well as their utter failure to back up their words with deeds) only feeds such suspicions.
The remembrance of Sept. 11 affects all faiths. It reminds Muslims of the great need for interfaith dialogue with their neighbors to communicate Muslim abhorrence toward all forms of terrorism and oppression.
Some Muslims believe that all non-Sharia forms of government are oppressive by nature. Does Zuberi? He doesn’t say.
All Americans hold a strong desire to root out the evils of extremism, terrorism, ignorance and intolerance from within their communities, regardless of faith. Sept. 11 and Ramadan fall at the same time this year, hence this is a special chance for Muslims to help achieve this goal.
As a means for healing the country’s loss and erasing the misconceptions that still exist in the post 9/11-era, Bay Area mosques have adopted an annual tradition of opening their doors for an entire weekend so community members and public officials of all faiths can gather to break bread and fast with their Muslim neighbors.
This will take place this weekend as part of our celebration of Ramadan, the ninth holy month in the Islamic calendar, when the Koran, the sacred scriptures for Muslims (after the revelations to Abraham, Moses and Jesus) was revealed to Muhammad from 610-632 A.D. The theme of the open houses is “A Month of Purification,” when Muslims focus on growing closer to God, and increasing charitable acts and self-discipline.
Zuberi makes no mention, of course, of the fact that Islam considers Abraham, Moses and Jesus to have been Muslim prophets whose Islamic message was corrupted by their followers to create what we know of as Judaism and Christianity. I’ve discussed this at length, along with its implications for contemporary jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism, in Jihad Watch’s exclusive Blogging the Qur’an series.
The Prophet Muhammad regarded Ramadan as the “month of sharing with others.” So it seems appropriate to include this open-house weekend as an opportunity to focus on multi-faith understanding and cooperation, as well as to educate neighbors and officials of the Muslims’ peacefulness and contributions within the community. Muslim communities in this country denounce all forms of terrorism and oppression.
“Islamic terrorism” is a myth. Perpetuating the term is an affront to the principle of religious freedom upon which the United States was founded.
Then comes the CAIR connection:
to Attend an open house
The 2008 Bay Area Ramadan-Mosque Open House is Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and eight mosques in Santa Clara, San Jose, Fremont, Oakland, San Martin and San Francisco….