Re: To: The Islamic Ummah

This is in response to the petition floating around that is for the Moderate Muslim Majority. I am proudly part of that majority but I have trouble with the concepts outlined in such a petition. Note that I’m not against this petition or telling people not to sign it. I really couldn’t care less. It’s not going to change the world, even though I’m number 24 on a list of mostly non-Muslim signatories mocking the petition or the religion (such as “KKK”, “paganinfidel”, “Ariel Sharon” etc).

The petition simply reminds me of the concepts that are listed there. It’s basically a long list of crimes that were committed either in the name of Islam or by people who happen to be Muslims, and then it asks the signatories, the Modern Muslim Majority, to apologise for it. Because really that’s what so many people want to hear: an apology, usually in the form of a condemnation.

We condemn terrorism! These terrorists do not preach true Islam! The slogans are infinite. While all these slogans are actually true what I’ve noticed is that since 9/11 the Moderate Muslim Majority has been running around trying to clean up a mess that a couple of nut jobs created.

All of this goes back to a lack of understanding of Islam. It’s not a religion where you get to pick and choose the things you like or don’t like, regardless of what the present state of civilization states is right or wrong. Islam was and is meant to be infinite, at least the basic rules of which are generally non-negotiable and agreed upon because of their clarity in texts. Civilization changes. A few hundred years ago you were considered backwards for believing the world was round. People believe what they want to believe.

The Moderate Muslim Majority has a few strategies here, waiting to apologise for an act done by Bin Laden or Zarqawi, retreat in to their homes, educate the non-Muslim anti-Islam majority of the world.

Neither of these strategies seems to be working. Despite the efforts in the past few years since 911 to educate mostly Americans about true Islam, more Americans actually hate the religion then ever before. On the other hand this is the first season Muslims are not the villians on Fox’s “24”, so maybe things are getting better.

We could always retreat in to our homes and pretend we’re not there when the angry mob with the pitchforks comes knocking, but that strategy doesn’t seem to work either judging by the endless calls from the west on the Moderate Muslim Majority to show itself; to condemn, to apologise.

As for education, moderate Islam, or in my opinion can be called “true Islam”, is not very appealing. An Islam that preaches peace and tolerance does not sell magazines. On the other hand an Islam that says kill non-Muslims or civilians or even Muslims that don’t agree with you; an Islam that says behead and display, well suffice to say that is very appealing. It’s like watching a car crash, you just can’t take your eyes off of it.

I personally have no interest in apologising for all these actions. Listen, it isn’t Islam, and if you’re not smart enough to know that then open a book; I can recommend a few that were not actually written by white supremists or neo-cons for that matter.

What are we really apologising for, what the crazies are doing or the lack of understanding in the western world? We’re sorry Bin Laden crashed planes into the world trade center and we’re sorry you don’t understand it has nothing to do with Islam.

I also hear people saying that the Moderate Muslim Majority use the “out of context” issue as a scapegoat. Dude, it is out of context. I used to read the passages people like Bin Laden or Zarqawi quoted from the Quran and when I read the context of those passages none of their present actions had anything to do with whatever happened 1400 years ago. A different fight, a different circumstance and the Quran could not be more clear about it unless a giant heavenly arm came down from the sky and slapped us on the head.

The irony here is that Muslim bashers these days actually use the exact same passages! Sometimes they change a few words to make it sound bloody but nevertheless. It’s halarious because it proves that extremists on the far end of the spectrum are guilty of the same stupidity. Which leaves us, the middle ground; the sensible ground.

I suppose education is the only feasible strategy. There will be people willing to listen, and there will be people who could care less. The haters will always outnumber the lovers but I suppose it’s better than nothing.

I just don’t want to have to apologise for something my religion really has nothing to do with. If I have to then I’d rather it be done in a group therapy session where the whole world gets together and apologises for their own atrocities. At least since 1945.


  • I think the Muslim world has serious problems and I do think terrorists find justification for their actions within the teachings of Islam. You can argue whether their interpretation of this or that point is correct but the fact remains that these terrorists at least believe that what they are doing is justified or even encouraged by their religion. They also find support for violence and intolerance among numerous imams, etc. While the radicals may be a minority, they still seem to be ubiquitous throughout the Muslim world and, unfortunately, when it comes to violence, even a relatively small number of people can cause a tremendous amount of harm. This problem isn’t just restricted to the Arab world or Arabs. We see it in the violent actions of Muslims in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as well.

    Many in the US and Europe are frustrated by the fact that while they realize that most Muslims are not terrorists (and that Muslims themselves are often the victims of terrorists), the greater Islamic world continues to produce religiously-inspired terrorists anyway. They want to see Islam dissociate itself from terrorism and fanaticism to the same degree that Christianity has managed to.

    Signing a petition accomplishes nothing. Moderate Muslims who would never dream of harming their fellow human beings are not to blame for the actions of terrorists. Besides, many in the West have become skeptical of verbal condemnations of terrorism from Muslims. They know it won’t prevent radicals from acting and it is not a substitute for concrete change.

    Action, not words, are what is needed. But what sort of action? The whole situation is just very frustrating.

  • samaratin, I agree with you to some extent, terrorists and radicals find justification in Islam in doing what they do, but indoctrination is not a difficult process especially with poor people who feel oppressed. whole nations have been indoctrinated to believe in certain ideologies in the past (and currently), and when it comes to religion, what you don’t understand you can make to mean anything.

    as for the western world, what is it they expect from the muslim world? from the moderate majority? to go house to house and check if any radicals live there?

    for a weekly march in the streets to condemn whatever happened that week, even if nothing happened?

    i think when it comes to atrocities committed in the name of an “idea”, Muslims are not first on that list of apologies for sure. that’s just my opinion.

    thanks for your comment

  • “I agree with you to some extent, terrorists and radicals find justification in Islam in doing what they do, but indoctrination is not a difficult process especially with poor people who feel oppressed.”

    Indoctrination may not be difficult, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be confronted. Nazi Germany is an example of an entire nation that was indoctrinated but was Nazism tolerable? Also, regarding your statement about poor people: many of these terrorists are not poor by the standards of their societies. Most of the Saudis that were involved in the September 11th attacks in the US were not poor. Many Palestinian suicide bombers are not from poor families. Many poor people in Islamic societies are not terrorists. Poverty may be a contributing factor in some cases, but it is hardly the only factor or even a necessary one in creating terrorists. Religious extremism, on the other hand, seems to be an almost universal component of the terrorist’s psyche.

    “as for the western world, what is it they expect from the muslim world? from the moderate majority? to go house to house and check if any radicals live there?”

    No, certaintly not. But lets face it, Nas, many times people in positions of authority in the Muslim world utter the most ridiculous and atrocious statements and seem to meet with very little condemnation. This implies some degree of consent and social acceptability.

    Previously you mentioned Jordanian society’s inability to even deal effectively with honor killings. Most in the western world see honor killings (and society’s response to them) as just one of a cluster of activities, including terrorism, that seem to indicate a certain lack of value or respect for human life and dignity in Islamic societies. This may not be an entirely fair criticism but religion and culture undeniably play roles in how society handles (or chooses not to handle) these kind of problems.

    When Pat Robertson, a ultra-conservative Christian televangelist from the US, has made off-the-wall statements, he is generally met with at least a fair amount of condemnation. Even his most outrageous statements are extremely tame in comparison to some of the garbage I have heard spewn from the mouths of imams that seems to be common and, to some extent, agreeable to a certain portion of the Muslim world.

    Again, I want to stress that I don’t have all the answers to combating the problem of terrorism. Like I said, it is difficult and frustrating. I don’t claim to be an expert on terrorism and most of the answers to terrorism originating in the Islamic world must be found by those in the Muslim community. The West can encourage and support reformers and reasonable people and combat extremists but it ultimately cannot impose solutions on Islamic societies.

    Thank you for your reply, Nas.

  • Samaratin, I disagree with you here. I do not know the details of the suicide bomber of 9/11 but there’s a much greater context for them here. I am talking about the general masses. You’ll find more people have or have had a favorable opinion of Alqueda, are those who live in poorer rural areas where there is a lack of education. Some Palestinians may be wealthier but i’ve never seen a wealthy guy blow himself up, even though i consider Palestine completely different from alqueda, which in reality it is. This is not to say that all poor people are potential terrorists, I am simply saying the economic conditions they suffer under creates a great environment for extremists to exploit, as it has always been throughout modern history…the same way Hitler exploited the desperate economic conditions of germany in the 1930’s.

    As for consent and support of what leaders say, samaratin, muslims are not going to go marching in the streets to condemn something their leader said that was completely radical or insane. not unless they want to get shot. we are talking about an overwhelming majority of nations where there is no form of democracy and consent is punishable. people have gotten shot over lesser things, like protesting over the rise of bread prices. Ironically in the U.S. where there is a whole lot of freedom of speech, the population was virtually silent when no WMD’s were discovered in Iraq, when Abu Ghrieb happened, when it was revealed that the U.S. killed a lot more civilians than they had originally claimed, etc.

    Honor killings have nothing to do with Islam. It’s a cultural thing. There needs to be a seperation of religion and culture/tradition. Everytime the west sees something terrible in the islamic world they cannot just say it has to do with the religion. Why? because the majority of of the Islamic world is Muslim? The majority of the western world is christian but christianity isnt blamed for every single issue we don’t like about the U.S. for example.

    There are of course ill educated imams and their extremist views and yes they are not condemned as they should be, but silence does not mean acceptance. when these imams go on tv the whole islamic world is not watching and waiting. also whatever hateful thing they say usually involves the U.S. and Israel, and so they come on TV say what they say for a few minutes and then the rest of your viewing pleasures consists of news reels and news reports about the number of palestinians killed by israelis today, or iraqis killed by americans…news, a reality, which reinforces what an imam says.

    well the west i believe feels the only way to fight extremism is to invade and occupy and destroy, which makes people more angrier and more prone to become extremist. if you live in fallujah and were previously apathetic to terrorism, you’re more likely to pick it up as a hobby when your house gets blown to pieces.

  • I must agree with 99% of what you wrote, and it’s been my opinion for along time,

    I believe in one other fact; that is: There wouldn’t be anything called muslim terrorism if there was no western terrorism in the first place. In that, I’m not trying to justify any of the actions made using the name of Islam at all. And that poverty was never the cause of terrorism, it is the food of it not the trigger.

    I lived my whole life surronded by muslim radicals, the only thing that would make them continue being so, is a picture of a murdered palestinian child, or an american soldier whisteling in their desert. People like W Bush are to be blaimed, and people like Bin Laden are to be hanged.

    Education is indeed the solution, but for now, I think education should be given to those who educate, before the wide majority.

    A petition of apologies couldn’t be more insulting to Islam, it is a feeling of guilt of something that doesn’t belong to us in any way as you said.

  • But isn’t terrorism the weapon of the weak? Hasn’t everyone used it in history, from the Founding Fathers (against the British Empire), to Nelson Mandela, to the Mau Mau, Haganah and Irgun, the Great Arab Revolt and Lawrence of Arabia?

    True, the victims are misguided in the sense that this is un-Islamic. But the victims at the end of the day are, human beings with impulses for revenge and killing?

    Why keep blaming the victim? Blame the injustice in the world and its guardians! Its time to stop bashing the weak.

  • NAS: i agree with you wholeheartedly.. we shouldnt apologize for something we didnt do, we condemn all acts of violence, whether they are committed in the name of Islam or any other religion, and such actions are intolerable. A lame petition like this will not do anything to solve the problem.. actions speak louder than words. One of the problems that we are currently experiencing here in the US is that a lot of ppl say “Muslims are not condemning terrorism”.. which is not true, especially in the case of American Muslims.. immediately following any of the terrorist attacks, press conferences are held to denounce and condemn such horrific actions.. people just like to say that to justify their negative perception of islam and muslims. I also understand that perhaps some clerics in the Muslim world encourage this violence, we must admit that the overwhelming majority denounce terror. Amr Khaled for example, a very well known and respected Muslim preacher has repeatedly denounced terrorism and has created new ways to combat terror in a more proactive way, such as getting the muslim youth involved in activities that will keep them from falling prey to radicals and extremists. Such activities are also held here in the US, but the media always fails to cover it. Like you mentioned, moderate islam will not get viewers for the evening news and will not sell in magazines and that’s one of the reasons many americans do not really get to see how we are combating terrorism in our own communities.

    Omar: I really liked the way you said “Education is indeed the solution, but for now, I think education should be given to those who educate, before the wide majority.”.. i agree but i dont agree.. i agree that some of our scholars need to be more educated but really there are soo many great scholars that are really educated and smart especially if you look at their plan for dealing with terrorism.. i dont agree in the sense that we cant wait for the educators to be educated, we also need to educate ourselves at the same time.. there’s plenty of moderate and repectable sources that we can use in educating ourselves.. in dealing with our issues.. one is the Holy Quran, and another is the Sunnah of the Prophet.. just 2 that are the basis of what we should rely on…

    Rami: you mentioned: “True, the victims are misguided in the sense that this is un-Islamic. But the victims at the end of the day are, human beings with impulses for revenge and killing?” i have to say that i disagree with you on this point… when these “victims” are killing innocent human beings (u should never avenge another innocent being) in the name of MY religion, claiming that this is what God told them to do, what the Quran told them to do, what the Prophet Muhammad would have wanted them to do, then i dont consider them victims and i dont consider what they are doing “revenge”.. finally who are the “weak” ppl that you are talking about? the palestinians.. ok, well they can fight back because they are at war, but Osama bin Laden? weak? i dont think so. he’s not under occupation, he’s not being attacked (now he is but before he committed his horrific actions no one cared about him), why should we be the aggressors?

  • I admit that I did not expect to see 40 signatures on the No2Jihad Petition. I did strongly desire to stimulate the sort of discussion which has occurred here, and to generate some Islamic introspection. The initial conception was founded in my own disbelief in the “moderate majority”. I did not expect that the petition would gather any support, and that its complete failure could be used as a propaganda set piece. I would really like to see more peace loving Muslims sign on, not as an apology, but as a total renunciation of the Islamic strategic objective: world conquest and the use of terrorism as a military tactic in the furtherance of that objective. I would like to see pacifists among the Ummah discover that they are not alone, that they have collective power, and use that power to expel the terrorists and their supporters from the Ummah.

    The issue of poverty, repression, suppression & ignorance has been raised. I do not accept the claim that Islamic terrorism is a function of any or all of those conditions, either jointly or severally. Plenty of poor, illiterate and repressed populations in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa are not raising Hell on the scope & scale of Islamic terrorism.

    I will grant that Muhammad’s childhood and youth was far from luxurious. Deprivation probably had a role in the formation of his philosophy. Examine this little gem:

    Book 019, Number 4327:
    The spoils of war were not made lawful for any people before us, This is because Allah saw our weakness and humility and made them lawful for us.

    Unfortunately, Muhammad’s recitation sanctifies terrorism in these verses: 3:15, 8:12, 33:26-27 and 59:2. In the Sunnah, he braggs about his use of it:

    Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.” Abu Huraira added: Allah’s Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them).

    By following the link immediately above, you can read the Jihad book and the Khumus book which follows it. They demonstrate a pattern of action which fits hand in glove with the Qur’anic sanctification of terrorism listed above, and the similar sanctification of perpetual conquest in 8:29 & 9:29, and genocide in 8:67. This excerpt from Sahih Bukhari, Ch. 63, # 2989, found in a different translation, makes the matter crystal clear.

    Sahih Bukhari Ch 63, # 2989: …Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has commanded us to fight you until you worship Allah alone or pay the jizya. Out Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has informed us from the message of our Lord: whoever of us is killed will go to the Garden in bliss whose like he has never seen. Whoever of us remains will be your masters.’

    Allah sanctified & Muhammad practiced Jihad, genocide & terrism. And Muhammad is the model for all Muslims to emulate. Certainly the four “rightly guided” Caliphs emulated him, otherwise the Levant and half of Asia would not have suffered from bloody conquest.

  • Hey Ben, it’s great to see that a petition about moderate muslims was started by someone who actually doesn’t believe in it! What a great april fools joke. Or perhaps the ides of march are upon us eh?

    Too bad however even the things you quoted from the quran and sunnah are completely useless to your arguement that islam condones terrorism. It’s a shame really, because I can tell you really put a whole lot of energy into trying to make fools out of Muslims. Shame.

    First of all:

    Plenty of poor, illiterate and repressed populations in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa are not raising Hell on the scope & scale of Islamic terrorism.

    No they are not, but then again there are several factors you’ve failed to consider. First that these nations do not have to deal with their fellow brethern being slaughtered on a day to day basis in Palestine and Iraq. Or secondly that the governments who rule over them are supported by the western world. These conditions make it easier to manipulate these people. I’ll have a tough time convincing some eastern european to bomb a subway in his own nation, but it will be much easier with a Muslim who you only have to turn on the TV with him.

    As for your verses. I love to play this game!

    verse 3:16, states: “say “shall i tell you of things even better? With the Lord are gardens with running streams of water for those keep from evil and follow the straight path where they will live unchanged with the purest of companions and blessings of God” And under God’s eyes are devotees who say…”

    this is a description of heaven, in the context that those who do good in this life go there. Specifically in the context of the battle of Badr. Now im not exactly sure but im guessing, and im just throwing this out there, that similar descriptions are in the other monothiest religions, and correct me if i’m wrong I dont see how a verse about heaven condones terrorism.

    chapter/verse 8:12 states: “and the Lord said to the angels ‘I am with you; go and strengthen the faithful, I shall fill the hearts of infidels with terror, so smite them on their necks and every joint'”

    this is of course in reference to the apostates who sought to kill Muslims at the time and God promising the Prophet pbuh to send angels to help him win battles, and it is followed by this verse:

    8:13 states, “For they had opposed God and his apostle; but whosoever opposes God and his apostle (should know) that God is severe in his retribution.”

    now 33:26 states: “And He brought those of the People of the Scripture who supported them down from their strongholds, and cast panic into their hearts. Some ye slew, and ye made captive some”

    This is about the battle of the Khandaq (or moat) where the Jewish tribe (people of the book/scripture) Banu Quraizah signed a treaty with the Prophet pbuh to fight off the onslaught of the invading armies of infidels (pagans). The Jewish tribes however betrayed the Prophet pbuh and Muslims by joining the pagans, attacking the fortress where Muslims had kept their women and children in safety from the battle. So the Muslims held them seige in their own fortress until the Jewish tribe opened their gates in surrender on the condition that they would be judged based on their own scripture of the Old Testament, hence Deuteronomy 20:13-14 came into play…

    “(13) And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: (14) But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.”

    The Jews agreed to the punishment and it was carried out. hence the verse of the quran 33:26 was revealed right after.

    59:2 states: “it is He who drove those among the People of the Book who refused to believe, from their homes for their first confrontation. You did not think that they would go away and they imagined that their forts would protect them against God. But God came upon them from where they did not suspect and filled their hearts with terror so that they destroyed their own homes with their own hands. So take heed, O men of sight!”

    this is of course revealed in historical reference to the Jewish tribe of Bani Nadir who were expelled for conspiring with Meccan pagans against the Muslims before the battle of the moat took place. in exile they attacked Muslim caravans to stop economic assistance to Medina (where Muslims lived) and were the main reason Banu Quraizah abandoned the Muslims, as they convinced them to. They spent their time forming an army through alliances to attack the Muslims, which is why they went to Mecca to convince the pagans to continue their war against them under the assumption they would help them. They managed to amass 10,000 men through their alliances, against the Muslims 3,000…hence the battle, hence the verse.

    As for Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220 from Sahih Bukhari, I dont see what your point is. The Prophet pbuh is saying clearly that in battles against Muslims, his own armies were aided by God who enstilled fear in the hearts of those armies. Are you saying the Prophet pbuh condones the use of fear.

    as for 2989, why didn’t you post the complete entry? why did you edit to display only what you wanted to display out of context. why dont you explain who Chosroes was in relation to this entry?

    You see your problem, like many others who are part of the Muslim bashing majority (maybe we should start a petition to check the numbers) is that you post these random verses, and parts of the sunnah that are relevant to a specific time and place in history. Not only do you take them out of their historical context, you break them down into pieces so that they mean exactly what they do not mean. So your comments and your preaching, they will probably work on many people especially those who know little to nothing about Islam, but you’ll have to try much harder with me. Did you mistake me for an illiterate? These are silly games that you play, but at least here on my blog you’ll find that I play for keeps.

    It’s funny how people who preach that Islam is intolerent are intolerent themselves; and then they call themselves cursaders. That brings up some fun memories.

    I implore you to review your knowledge of Islam. You are probably convinced that you must naturally oppose it and buy into what others have said to justify the actions of terrorists. And yes there are many Muslims who do use the Quran to justify it, but there are also non-Muslims who work in the same realm of thinking and use verses that terrorists use in their justification in the employment of their own justification of being anti-Islam. I implore you to abandon these methods, they serve no purpose but to add darkness to darkness, confused people even more, and spread great fallacies.

    You’re probably really into this anti-Islam thing, judging by your website, but all I ask is that you take a step back and push all the misinformation from your mind. Turn off the tv and radio.

    Wait for a greater clarity

Your Two Piasters: