Why Are There So Many Misconceptions About Muslim Americans?

Matthew La Corte. Research Associate at the Niskanen Center. Peaceful American Muslims are unfairly and ignorantly being lumped together with evil extremists in the aftermath of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. Last month, Donald Trump -- dismayingly, still the Republican frontrunner -- further poisoned already toxic political discourse by proposing the U.S. ban all Muslims immigrants from entering the country. Unfortunately, this sort of rhetoric is widespread, and is unmistakably contributing to the increase of recent anti-Muslim hate crimes. But anti-Muslim rhetoric is out of step with reality. Not only are Muslim Americans successfully integrating into U.S. society, they are actually more opposed to intolerance and violence than many other Americans. Neverth...

Quran calls for coexistence, not clash

Fawad Ahmed, Malaysian Insider. The rise of Isis and the recent Charlie Hebdo massacre have brought the “clash of civilisations” discourse to a fever pitch. In reality, the Quran calls for a government based on values closely resembling that of Western republics. Equal rights are guaranteed to non-Muslims so long as they fulfil the same two obligations as their Muslim counterparts: follow the law and pay an income tax. Henceforth, they are considered “brothers in the system of life.” No religious conversion is required. Before we proceed, note that Islam (meaning “submission” to the will of God) is referred to as a “deen” in the Quran. Deen means “system of life” or “way of governance.” Religion is but a component of deen. Next, let’s review...

Defend the faith and use it to stand up to extremists

Rabbi James A. Gibson, Imam Abdu'Semih Tadese and Bishop David A. Zubik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Chapel Hill. Paris. Libya. Copenhagen. Bangui. The list is endless. The fact is inescapable. In our day, the price of religious hatred is blood. Blood on the floor. Blood in the parking lot. Blood on the desert sands. Blood on the streets of our cities. No one in the kosher supermarket in Paris had defamed the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. None of those in that apartment building in Chapel Hill, N.C., had cursed Christians. No Coptic Christian in Egypt had insulted anyone to merit beheading. None who have died in these attacks on religious groups consciously offended another faith. Their lack of offense was no defense against violent death at the hands of those wh...

Muslims Are Kicked Like A Political Football.

M. Akhtar, Ph.D; President, Muslim Council of America Lately Muslims have become like a political football for the players who like to win the Super Bowl, sometime by hook or by crook. Thank God, there are rules and laws in America, that makes us feel to be proud of American heritage. Dr. Ben Carson in the presidential race for 2016 took a shot at American Muslims, saying that Muslims cannot become US President. Doesn’t Dr. Carson know that the Article VI of the US Constitution specifically forbids a religious test as a requirement for holding a governmental position? Does it prohibit Muslims to aspire for President’s job, simply based on one’s religion? No, that did not go very far. Sensing the wind flow, he shifted his attack and took another shot at Muslims,...

Is ISIS supposed to be a Muslim organization?

Aslam Abdullah, Ph.D; Director of Islamic Center, Las Vegas, Vice president of Muslim Council of America Will the US train Muslim Americans to take on ISIS The (Un) Islamic state of Iraq and Syria is an organization of individuals who coul easily put even beasts to shame. They belong to league of Hitler, ben Ladens and many more who promoted terror and murder for reasons they could not explain to themselves. They are against Christians, Jews, secularists and even Muslims. They are fighting a war they claim religious, which is overtly Satanic. Where do they get monetary support? Who supplies them weapons and ammunition? Who helps them in Europe and USA to recruit young Muslims who are usually unknown in their own communities for their commitment to Islam. The ISIS i...

Pre-Jihadi Mindset: What Muslims Can Do?

Jaseem Pasha, MD. No Muslim is born Jihadi or has any genetic predisposition to turn into a Jihadi. Having a pre-Jihadi state of mind is not a mental illness. It is a ‘learned mindset’ with a significant religious overlay that gradually surfaces and evolves when the young Muslims are exposed to an ongoing organized theological indoctrination, which routinely takes place in madrasas and other religious institutions in every Muslim country. Such a theological drilling, with distorted religious concepts labeled as “Islamic” imparts a pre-Jihadi mindset, which in turn primes the apparently harmless naive Muslim youth to become a potential target to be lured by the recruiters of terrorist organizations and turn them into a walking, talking time bombs. Predis...

What “New” Message Did Muhammad Bring?

Saleem Ahmed, Ph.D. President, Pacific Institute of Islamic Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii The Qur’an declares: Nothing is said to you (O Muhammad) except what was said to messengers before you (verse 41.43). Revealed in Islam’s earlier years when the prophet lived in Mecca, this informed all -- Jews, Christians, Muslims, and pagans alike -- that the message of monotheism and righteous living, conveyed earlier by Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets and messengers via the Torah and the Bible, was reinforced by the Qur’an. However, while there was nothing “new” in the crux of the message Muhammad brought – monotheism and righteous living – the “newness” was that it expanded significantly the geographical area in which God’s messengers repo...

Muslims are critical to American progress

Dalia Mogahed and John L. Esposito While the world mourned the savage and senseless loss of innocent life, some capitalized on the attacks in Paris to score political points. Within hours, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., tweeted: “How’s that Syrian refugee resettlement look now? How about that mass migration into Europe? Terrorism is alive & well in the world. #No” Such refrains are more than emotional eruptions. They are manifestations of a deeply rooted narrative that casts Muslims as a foreign “growth” in the body of the West. The resulting debate is then framed something like this: Is this tumor benign or is it carcinogenic? When Donald Trump says he’ll consider closing mosques, he is operating from this framework. When Ben Carson declares a Muslim ...

A shariah myth

A pervasive Shariah myth The radical right’s pet theory about Dearborn—or any of the cities and neighborhoods featured on the no-go list. Yet the creeping-sharia myth is so pervasive that it’s been repeated by folks like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, considered a 2016 presidential hopeful, and by failed 2010 Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, a Tea Party adherent, among numerous other Republicans. Fox News was forcecher Terry Jones hopped on the Dearborn bandwagon, planning to to demonstrate against—yep—the nonexistent spread of sharia law. Stopped by a court, Jones returned in 2012, and again in 2014. He’s been to the city—and been tried in its U.S. and state-law governed court for breach of the peace in 2011, when he and a companion were released after being ord...

Muslims being being treated with suspicion

Reflections on being treated with suspicion How Muslims should be reacting – is reflected by two leaders in the present issue. We would welcome more reflections by other thinkers in future issues. – Editor Response: M. Akhtar None of us likes to be treated as suspicious – it is disgraceful and painful. Some of us feel anger and vent about this indignity by blaming the authorities and faulting the system. We dismiss the whole issue by crying foul and say we Muslims are victims of the discrimination. This complete dismissal is a similar reaction to the denial of any connection between Muslims and terrorism, as those it is some kind of conspiracy. These reactions help absolve ourselves of any responsibility to do anything. These reactions naturally lead us to conclude it is futi...

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