Ramadan Kareem


Why Muslims, why Islam?


The author of the article below asks some of the same questions posed on the pages of Miscellany101 concerning the vitriol that appears so openly in almost all circles of American life.  It’s a fair question to ask about this surge in attacks against Muslims physically, as detailed in the previous post below, as well as rhetorically as we have mentioned in countless articles on this blog.  I assert these attacks point to the schizophrenic nature of America; on the one hand we call ourselves a nation of freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, but on the other hand we demonize those who exercise their free will to do just those things.  Not all of us do, however which adds to the “sickness” of our Nation or more euphemistically, the duality of the country, for there are those like the interfaith groups made of Christians, Muslim and Jews who supported the right of the Cordoba House to be built near the site of the former WTC buildings destroyed in 2001 who claim such curtailment of rights and freedoms for all have no place in our democracy.

However, the article below is from an American Muslim, and it would be advantageous for you to read it carefully, for it is full of the spirit we claim is necessary in order for this country to succeed; the spirit of cooperation, freedom and tolerance.  I hope we take heed

Jesus, God’s Word that He cast into Mary, the Messiah of Israel who delivered the Good News of the Millennial Kingdom and saved the faithful remnant of Israel from the treason and apostasy of the Pharisees and
scribes, the only man ever to walk the earth without sin or error, would be saddened by (what many say today).

Where in the English-speaking media do we see wholesale falsification of Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, or even Christianity? Yet that is almost all we see about Islam, incessantly, in movies, “news,” commentary, and virtually every mass-media information source from compulsory public education through old age.

It wasn’t like this when I was a child, sixty years ago. Then, we learned that “Islam” was a few dusty desert-dwellers milking camels and living in tents, and of no historical significance whatever. We certainly weren’t informed that pharmacy and medicine in Europe for a thousand years was based on Arabic writings, or that private enterprise free market capitalism was perfected in Fatimid Egypt long before our ancestors developed the European version from its Arabic roots. We didn’t know that the lost works of Aristotle were preserved in Arabic translations and restored to Europe through Muslim Spain. No one mentioned that algebra, surveying, astral navigation, refrigeration, and federalism all had Arabic origins.

But the Muslim empire persisted, in increasingly corrupted forms, for a thousand years, and then vanished into dust, as expected. And in America, when I was a child, sixty years ago, there were all of three Muslim neighborhoods in America ~ in Dearborn, Michigan, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sacramento, California. Now there are over two thousand mosques, and over nineteen million Muslims in America, the vast majority born and raised in America, and a large plurality with no ancestral or historical heritage related to Islam.

In my lifetime, the population of Muslim America has grown at a rate not seen in the Muslim world in over ten centuries. This, despite an institutionalized demonization of Muslims hard at work since the development of mass media. And a lot of people commenting have believed the lie, even posting links to websites devoted to the demonization. It is not America’s Christians who are behind this falsification, people, and it is not without a very old motive.

A muslim “YMCA” two blocks from City Hall and two blocks from the World Trade Center? Why not? So what? Churches in downtown areas are being threatened with displacement because the cities want more tax revenue from the commercial zones of the cities. Religious organizations providing shelter for the homeless are under attack nation-wide by means of zoning regulations, building codes, and other regulatory “permit” requirements. Religion in America has been under attack ~ see  “The New First Amendment” for the legal history ~ for almost a century now. Of course, it’s not politically correct to malign a religion or a religious group.

Except muslims. Hmmm.

Try this and the other three articles linked at the top of the welcome page for a little “straight” information about those people so many love to hate. America is the closest thing in the world to a Muslim state. Our country was built on the premise of religious liberty, and it’s ingrained in our culture. Some abuse it, some capitalize on it, and some of the Arab states certainly have been trying to colonize American Islam for decades ~ and failing. But the American people live in religious congregations to a greater extent than any other people, we are a religious people despite what appears in the mainstream media

And one in twenty are Muslim. They don’t come knocking at your door, they don’t tell you how to live, they don’t seek government grants to finance social service programs or building projects, and you hardly know they exist unless they live on your street. So who’s stirring up all this controversy about a community center facility available to everyone? And why is it being made a national issue as the mid-term elections draw near?

See “Guide To Events”.

Nothing makes the headlines unless there’s an agenda behind it. Whose agenda is this hate-fest brouhaha?

American Christian-Zionists PWNED


Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop of Sebaste in Jerusalem was asked the following question

Main Evangelical Christians in U.S. and western countries believe that the emergence of the state of Israel is promised by God. They support Israel financially. What is the Orthodox Church’s position on this matter?

AT: The Orthodox Church as all churches in the Holy Land refuses to give excuses from the bible for the unjust treatment of the Palestinian people.

I am very sorry to hear about some religious groups in the United States that support the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Such support cannot be justified from a Christian point of view because Christianity is against any sort of occupation and the injustice in it all forms and rationalization.

These groups need to re-read their bible, because the bible calls us to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed and not with the oppressors.

For those who use the bible to support Israel need to differentiate between God\s promise and Balfour promise (Balfour Declaration), because the occupation is the result of a promise given to the Israelis by Lord Balfour and not by God.

God is innocent from the unjust actions of the Israeli occupation of our land since ‘48 and until now.

‘Nuff said! Mainstream Christianity in America that identifies with Israel’s occupation and oppression of Palestinians is out of step with their religious principles.  When you are without principle, what other behavior can one expect of you?

More Veil News


There are only a very few people who are acting responsibly concerning the veil worn by some Muslim women especially in European countries.  Caroline Spelman, a Conservative Party member in the UK is one of them.  While I don’t know much about the Conservative Party in England, if it’s anything like American Conservatives, this woman, Spelman is quite progressive in her thinking.

“I don’t, living in this country as a woman, want to be told what I can and can’t wear.“One of the things we pride ourselves on in this country is being free, and being free to choose what you wear is a part of that, so actually banning the burka is absolutely contrary I think to what this country is all about.

“I’ve been out to Afghanistan and I think I understand much better as a result of actually visiting why a lot of Muslim women want to wear the burka.

“It is part of their culture, it is part of understanding that they choose to go out in the burka and I think those that live in this country, if they choose to wear a burka, should be free to do so.

“You have to understand the actual culture and it was probably only when I went there and spent some time amongst women that I really understood that for them it’s a choice.

“For them the burka confers dignity, it’s their choice, they choose to go out dressed in a burka and I understand that it is a different culture from mine but the fact is in this country women want to be free to choose whether or not to cover their heads, whether or not to go out in the morning wearing a burka, that’s for them.

“We are a free country, we attach importance to people being free, and for a woman it is empowering to be able to choose each morning when you wake up what you wear.”

It goes without saying she’s been slammed by members of her own party, but the essence of what she’s saying, the freedom to choose shouldn’t be lost on those secular countries that say the same thing about a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion, for example, or what career she aspires to, etc.

For Muslim women living in the West who would like to wear the face veil or niqab who have any reservations or doubts about doing so comes this word from the primeval Islamic source, Saudi Arabia

if Muslim women are in a country that has banned the niqab, or full-face veil, or if they face harassment in such a place, “it is better that the Muslim woman uncovers her face.”

Numerous scholars of various Islamic schools of thought agree on this point, Qarni said.

But he, Qarni, is not the only one saying this.  Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has made similar pronouncements, and there is spirited discussion on Muslim forums about this issue.  Of course given the opportunity, most governments would love to define their constituents in the manner that is appealing to the majority or that would ensure government office holders remain in power…and “choice” really has nothing to do with that, it’s consensus or expediency that matters.  This is the attitude of western secular countries that tout one type of choice for women that is liked by a majority of them….abortion for example, but deny another type of choice not so popular.  Muslim countries don’t consider choice at all; rather it’s tradition that carries the day.  In traditional Muslim countries, it is up to women themselves to make their case for their choices and most likely it will have to start from the top down.  Grass root movements simply don’t exist in many traditional countries. What is most interesting to this observer is  two prominent Muslim countries, most notably Syria and Egypt, have said the niqab is not allowed either in public or by woman who work in government jobs, thereby placing themselves on equal footing with their brethren governments from the West; common ground found on the backs of women’s rights or lack thereof.  Sad.

Chinese Islam


The manifestations of Islam are as varied as the communities in which this religion lives, yet the Islamophobes would have you believe it is one giant monolith whose sole intent is the destruction of someone’s way of life.  (read the Gingrich rant below)  Here is an interesting story from China about how women have become active participants in their religious affairs and not just observers

As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.

“The status is the same,” Yao says confidently. “Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country.”

China has an estimated 21 million Muslims, who have developed their own set of Islamic practices with Chinese characteristics. The biggest difference is the development of independent women’s mosques with female imams, something scholars who have researched the issue say is unique to China.

There’s more here. Amazing that a socialist country allows for the expression of religion in ways even the country of origin of Islam doesn’t, much less western secular democracies.

The Dance of Denial


It has been very revealing watching members of the Right deny the responsibility of their ideology for two tragic murders that have recently occured which captured the attention of the Nation.  First came the cold blooded slaughter of an abortionist, Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas followed up shortly by the brutal killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC of all places.

Dr. Tiller’s death is troubling because he had been the target of anti-abortionists’ rage before and even the person charged with his murder had been known to stalk and even vandalize  the clinic where Tiller worked in the days preceeding his death.  Several people in the clinic have gone on record saying they knew about Scott Roeder’s attempts at disrupting the operation of the clinic and notified the proper authorities yet nothing was done to apprehend Roeder and possibly prevent Dr. Tiller’s death.  Such ineptness on the park of the federal beaucracy does not mean that even more layers of government are necessary to protect the citizens but rather irresponsible civil servants need to be replaced with more diligent and efficient ones.

The death of Stephen Jones at the National Holocaust Museum at the hands of a white supremacist is a tragedy underscored by the fact this murderer had a long history, easily documented that could possibly point to such a heinious crime being committed by his hand, age notwithstanding, yet he very easily walked down a metropolitan city street with a .22 caliber rifle and shot and killed an armed federal agent.  The reason why I mention again both of these crimes is because of the contortions those on the right are taking to distance their ideology from these two men who claimed to hold that ideology near and dear to them.   Political pundits are taking great lengths to say that these murderes aren’t from the right at all but rather from the left of the political spectrum, despite the fact they, the perpetrators clearly identify with the Right.  Punditry has managed to make actions a mark of political persuasion and not words and have told their admirers that death and killing are marks of the political left, terrorism marks of Muslims,  while the opposition the Right makes to anything is noble and necessary to save America from its enemies.

This was the kind of meme advanced by Dick Cheney, more recently, and the entire Bush administration before which reduced all argument to ‘with us or against us’ sloganeering.  In that small universe built by the likes of the triumphant Right there was nothing that we did to  those ‘against us’ that could be considered illegal or immoral behavior.   The concept of “exceptionalism” had been developed to the point that meant even the boundaries of legality didn’t apply to us or we made every attempt to legalize illegal behavior in order to legitimize our unlawful actions.  It was a vicious circle we continue to traverse by denying the rational of these latest criminals for their criminal behavior.

News accounts and political pundits have taken great pains to classify these murderers as lone gunmen who are completely separate and detached from the environment which they have enveloped themselves.  By doing so they hope to further distance themselves from the effect their rhetoric has on the people who listen to and subscribe to it.

In our system of law as it pertains to capital crimes unless there is a conspiracy there is no guilt by association. Conversely there is also no innocence by association. Christian leaders and conservative citizens in general have jumped at the chance to label Mr. Roeder a vigilante, a monster and things far worse.

Regrettably this tactic is only applied to members of the right who spent an entire two terms of a right leaning Republican administration to paint with the broadest of brushes entire groups of people based on the actions of individual(s).  This has been a common practice of demagoguery; the politics of the many condensed into the actions of the lone individual.  Cries of bombing the institutions that are symbolic of political ideology have given way to the absolute negation of ideology and their import on an individual’s actions.   Murderers on the right have suddenly appeared on our political landscape and killed their perceived foes because they were inherently defective and acting completely on their own, while the last eights years of a Republican administration were spent literally trying to root out whole communities of conspirators who lurked in every corner of our country waiting for a chance to reap their collective death and destruction at the earliest possible moment on an unsuspecting public that need the invasive protection of a government bureaucracy.

Finally the absence in many cases of condemnation from the progenitors of rightist motivation for such murderous tendencies is another characteristic of the sudden revisionism going on in Obama’s America.  During the Bush years people were always challenged to condemn the acts of coreligionist or fellow ideologues, today’s America sees there is no need for condemnation because such acts rarely accomplish anything and not worth the time spent doing so.

Condemning Roeder doesn’t add anything to the pro-life cause. Pro-abortionists are always quick to remind the Christians of Christ’s rule of not judging or condemning. Why add fuel to the fire by condemning Mr. Roeder, isn’t it just a matter of six of one and a half dozen of the other? Both Tiller and Roeder have One that will be their final judge and he is neither hot under the collar, biased or partial. Why don’t we leave all that to Him?

In many ways such ideas mirror the current glossing over done by the Obama administration vis-a-vis Bush Administration crimes of torture and violations of the US constitution and are entirely motivated by groups’ needs to absolve themselves of responsibilty for actions of the past or the future.

France’s Fascism Rears it’s Ugly Head Again!


Twenty-first century France  has  replaced 20th century  Nazi Germany as  the European hotbed of political fascism, climbing on the backs of its Muslim population to claim this distinction much like German socialism climbed on the graves and skeletons of the European Jewish minority in the 30s and 40s.  Nationalism and secularism are the reasons given for this decision on the part of French government  to curtail the rights of a vibrant Muslim minority,  making a mockery of the French motto of ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ while inciting its citizens to turn against one another based on the clothes they wear and the religion they profess.  While the tombstones of French Muslims are desecrated,  French feminists, who claim advocacy of  a woman’s right to choose, bemoan and denounce the candidacy of a French women who supports contraception and abortion rights because she chooses to wear a scarf on her hair!  The hypocrisy of the French position, so steeped in bigotry and irrational hatred have led Ilham Moussaid to point out

It is with great sadness that I watch … my life reduced to my headscarf. It is with great sadness that I hear that my personal beliefs are a danger to others while I advocate friendship, respect, tolerance, solidarity and equality for all human beings.

It would appear based on what she says above, Moussaid is more French than any of her detractors.  Touche!