Articles

Scores of articles were authored by the Board Members in the recent past while many are under preparation to be displayed on this website in the future. They aim to clarify the issues American Muslims are facing. They in fact have been incorporated in the MCA’s platform. The Articles given below are roughly in the order of subjects: American Muslims, America, American identity, Humanitarian service, Muslims, Islam, Interfaith, Political, Terrorism Pakistan and West. In the future, the subjects and the authors included will be expanded. Lastly, it needs to be made clear that the views expressed in the articles are the authors’ views and their responsibility. They may or may not be congruent with the official positions of MCA.

Empowering Islam in America: Political Guidelines

Religion is much in vogue nowadays. Most of the presidential candidates in the 2008 election cycle rely on niche politics, and most of them have been forced to pursue the niche of religiosity, because people seek religion in times of instability, doubt, and fear. None of the candidates, however, have done well in spelling out specifically what this means for issues of conscience in American domestic and foreign policy. Neither have Muslims. They follow specific niches that address their own narrow, special interests. Many have bumper stickers that read, “Islam is the answer,” but they need to spell it out both in theory and practice. What is the theory? The theory is simple. All the revealed religions contain a universal paradigm of thought. Muslims call this Islam. It is ba...

What Baptists Learned at ISNA Convention

What I Learned and Heard From Two Days Among American Muslims at the ISNA Convention Robert Parham The annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America was more like an annual convention of Baptists than most Baptists would want to know: leaders wrapped the will of God around appeals for funds; scripture citation was frequent; cell phones rang at inopportune times; participants were more interested in hallway fellowship than platform presentations; displays sold books, CDs, DVDs, religious trinkets and hair loss-prevention products. Some speakers were dynamic; others were pedantic. Some attendees were smartly dressed; others were casually clad. Unlike Baptist conventions of the South, the ISNA convention had more strollers, more teenagers and a lot more racial and ethnic diversity...

Responding to Islamophobia

Aslam Abdallah, Ph.D, Board Member of MCA
Islam bashing, Islamophobia and Hate Islam are a deliberate campaign led by some journalists, religious fanatics and liberal as well as conservative commentators. They want to denounce Islam as a barbaric religion promoting violence and hatred against non Muslims. Ironically, the campaign is centered in a country where Muslims have been the most peaceful citizens for the last several centuries despite the fact that they were subject to all sorts of persecution. African Muslim slaves were forced to convert to Christianity and many of them were killed for refusing to succumb to the wishes of their masters. Yet, none of the descendents of those persecuted Muslims ever indulged in reciprocating the acts of barbarism, their forefathers had u...

Are Muslims in America to be considered a Minority

Mohammad Akhtar, Ph.D, Chairperson, Muslims Council of America
It is estimated that 20 % of peoples’ parents in America are from foreign lands. The mid 1960s , seems to have witnessed the start of a strong wave of migrants from Asia because of liberalization of the laws such as the 1965 Immigration Act. A good number of Muslim immigrants came shortly after and probably peaked towards the end of 1970s. The majority of these immigrants came from South Asia, followed by the Middle East and then the Far East. A significant proportion of them were admitted -- not necessarily accepted, as immigrants on the basis of their professional qualifications. A point to note here is that these two differences are what set Muslims apart from Blacks, and tend to render their discriminatio...

American Muslims: A part of America’s pluralism

Dr. Souheil Ghannouchi
The United States of America is a pluralistic society par excellence. It is a country that does not have a state religion, and Americans do not constitute one race or one ethnicity. Immigrants have built the USA. Ever since Europeans began settling in what is now the United States by the 16th century, people from different parts of the world have migrated here. They have come from many different religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Most immigrants came voluntarily; but some were brought by force while others were forced to come. All groups have faced the challenge of preserving their identity through cultural practices, traditions or religious observances. Although many, initially, elected isolationism to preserve that cultural identity, they we...

Our Website

M.Akhtar,Ph.D, Chairperson, MCA Foundation
It is with humility and yet with great pride that MCA presents its website in the hope that it marks as a distinct addition to the profusion of websites of myriad kinds. Like the organization, the website also has a clear and sharp focus on serving Muslims of America with a distinct and contemporay view of Islam along with a clear and definite commitment to America. Blind adherence to centuries old rulings has to change and Islam needs to be reinterpreted to meet the emerging demands of the new world. In its pursuit we join Tariq Ramadan in his "call to reform Islam that goes beyond adaptation to envision bold and creative solutions to transform the present and the future".As regards our committment to America and how we feel, Ameri...

Can Muslims be Americans? They ask…

Aslam Abdullah, Ph.D, Board Member of MCA
Can Muslim Americans be loyal to America? She asked. The immediate response of the person to whom the question was addressed was a big no. It didn't surprise many who were present during the conversation as many nodded their heads affirmatively. It was an ordinary discussion in a home setting where friends and relatives had gathered and some of them had raised the issue of loyalty of Muslim Americans. An elected public official from California, who chooses to remain anonymous, was also present at the gathering. She told the audience not to jump to conclusions and that she would present the questions raised at the gathering, to a Muslim who she knew. She forwarded me a list of issues that were brought up at the gathering and asked my input...

Unholy War in the name of Islam

John Esposito, Ph.D, Board Memebr of MCA
In this interview, Professor Esposito discusses his new book, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). In your book, Unholy Wars: Terror in the Name of Islam, you focus a great deal on the religion, its history, its interpretation over time, and the connection between the faith and what happened on September 11. Do you think that a deeper understanding of Islam could help us to understand why the events of September 11th occurred? It is important to understand the tradition because I think it is critical to be able to distinguish between what I would call mainstream Islam and extremist Islam. In Islamic history, as with Christian and Jewish history, and Hindu and Buddhist history, there is ...

The Challenge to Muslims

Nazir Khaja, MD, Board Member of MCA
When people lose consciousness of the true spirit and values of their faith, their actions and practices no longer reflect the message of the religion they practice. The forms become an end in themselves as the greater vision that is meant to uplift and transform individuals and societies is lost. The significance of faith is reduced to a mere preservation of and adherence to the traditional outer practices that had once complemented and reflected the message. Religion becomes a museum for the preservation of the outer shell that was a container for the sustaining and life transforming core. Focus is turned towards concepts of individual piety and self righteousness disengaging people from humanity. It is lost to such followers that belief i...

Defining the American Muslim Vision for the 21st Century

A Proposal Introduction
SULAYMAN NYANG, Ph.D, Board Member of MCA
Since the events of 9/11 American Muslims have faced a number of challenges. Some of these challenges have heightened the American national consciousness of many Muslims, others have created a deep sense of fear among the leaders and the led of this community of native-born and immigrants. The diverse nature of the community has accounted for the divergent experiences and interpretations of their individual and communal experiences. Because the community members are drawn from over eighty countries around the world, no categorical statement can be made about the community, its membership, and its behavior in the country. Yet, there are opportunities provided by the challenges of 9/11 for Muslims to take st...

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