But they are not "real" Muslims or so I am told

I am deeply saddened and pained by the news that at least 80 Muslims from the Ahmadiyyah sect were murdered in Pakistan by terrorists during Friday prayers.  This great loss of humanity should reverberate throughout the Muslim world, however it won’t likely even be mentioned.  Unfortunately, due to great ignorance and hypocrisy, my fellow Muslims who claim to be Sunni as I am don’t seem to think much of Ahmadiyyah’s.  What crime have they committed that could have possibly warrant the slaughter of so many men, women, and children?  What beliefs could they hold that are so “anti-Islam” that it could warrant decades of oppression, slaughter, and inhumanity by those who themselves ironically claim the title of “Muslim”?  Allah (swt) knows best.

I will not go  into depth about where my beliefs as a Sunni Muslim differ from those who belong to the Ahmaddiyyah sect, because it is not necessary.  These MUSLIMS bear witness to the ONE God, and bear witness to His Messenger Muhammad, upon whom peace and blessings are to be bestowed.  I happen to be of the opinion that since I don’t have the keys to paradise nor hell that it’s ultimately up to Allah (swt) to decide, but I seem to be in the minority.

I need not go into how many friends I have that are Ahmaddiyah who I claim as true friends and family, nor do I need to repeat my arguments in defense of their cause as I have in the past.  The important thing is that it is about time for Muslims to start being Muslims.  It’s time for Muslims to actually follow the Sunnah.  There is no way I could call myself Muslim and ignore the barbaric practices carried out by fellow Muslims.  There is no way I could ever believe that the Prophet (saw) would ever advocate terrorism and oppression against those who say they believe.

However, on we sleep.  On we idly sit by apathetic to the suffering wrought upon this group and many others.  Yet, our passions can easily be awoken if the French threaten to pass an anti-burqa law or someone draws a cartoon and calls it “Muhammad”. We have truly become a community of hypocrites.

What kind of backward people would turn a blind eye to murder, allow open persecution, dictatorship, and evil to exist in our lands yet never suffer a cartoonist to live without fear of death?

And we actually wonder why people mock us.  We actually wonder why they call us backward and barbaric.

I am thoroughly disgusted and am tired of  all the hollow statements from our so-called Muslim leaders who have much to say when it’s convenient and are silent when it is not.  The alphabet soup of Muslim organizations love to condemn actions when it’s politically expedient.  We love to call out artists and engage in a debate about free speech when we feel “disrespected”.  But where are these organizations, Imams, student associations, and other Muslim groups today?

They are silent.

Where is our government who loves to remind us that Pakistan is our ally yet are tight lipped concerning the persecution that the Pakistani government openly allows and sanctions through uncivilized and discriminatory laws?

I pray for all the victims of these terrorists and their families regardless of what sect they belong to, regardless of what they believe, regardless if Allah (swt) considers them Muslim or not, because it’s the human thing to do.  I pray that a day will come when Muslims act on the decree of Allah (swt) and actually be a model for all civilizations.  I pray for a day when no one will ever feel unsafe when they have Muslims for neighbors.

These Satanic actions must not only be condemned, but punished, legislated against, and openly debated.  If we sit back and allow this tyranny to exist and do nothing, we become part of the tyranny and are worthy of the hellfire.  How can we claim Islam as our religion and not try to stop these actions physically, verbally, or at least hate it in our hearts.

I call upon all Muslims and those of other faiths to speak out against the terrorism and oppression of the Ahmaddiyah community.  I call upon America’s citizens to contact our legislators and our President and let them know that we will not tolerate a Pakistani government that openly oppresses her citizens and creates an atmosphere that results in actions taken similar to those that occurred today in Pakistan.

Either we truly are believers or we are not.  At least be man or woman enough to admit it.  No drawing is more important than the murders of innocent men, women, and children right under our noses.  Where’s the fatwa against this crime?

I would like to believe that my fellow Sunni Muslims would echo my sentiments, but I’m already wise enough to know that I’m more likely to hear the sounds of crickets than I am to at a minimum hear or read a statement from one of our “leaders” or “organizations” condemning these crimes.  Unfortunately, my rose colored glasses were shattered years ago.

Here’s to holding my breath…..

My Allah (swt) reward, protect, and guide His true servants in these perilous times.

Pakistani Taliban attack two mosques in Lahore, target Muslim sect

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Response to Madeline Brooks article: Why the Ground Zero Mosque Must Be Stopped

I actually wrote this rebuttal on a message board I frequent when this article was posted.  I felt I had to share it with my readers because it could be of some use when analyzing that disturbing trend(s) ever present in our modern politic especially sensationalized writings being presented as facts or news.

Here is my response to the aforementioned article as it appeared on the messageboard:

And here is a shining example of the logical fallacy Absurd Extrapolation or Slippery Slope….

1.  The term “mosque” and “huge mosque” is repeatedly used, when in fact it’s a community center that has a mosque in it out of 13 floors, huge difference.  But this is Ad Baculum appeal to Fear so that’s why the terms are used.  I could also cite the example of the collected “us” vs “them” mantra began in the very first line categorizing Muslims as the “they” who attacked “us”.  I happen to believe that as an American that “us” would include all Americans regardless of race, religion, etc. but it’s obvious that to the author and his supporters, that those Americans that are Muslim are actually the “they” and not really Americans I guess.  Not surprised by these sentiments…

2.  Next comes Abusive Ad Hominem or see Attack the person.  Once it is established by the author that it’s really a debate between Muslims and those of other faiths, regardless of nationality or citizenship, the next thing to do is to go after one of the Imam’s involved in the project.  Demonizing an entire religion and group is a good tactic, but when you can put a face to that group in one person or several, then it get’s really easy to sway your readers or rally their support.  So now he becomes the smooth talking wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Ignore his record on interfaith and actual work, throw in a couple of loose associations a statement or two, and bam!  You have your very own Saddam Hussein!  The perfect villain and characature of evil!

Nevermind that the statement in question specifically uses the term “accessory” which according to most English dictionaries means part of or help, etc. but not a definitive cause, nevermind that Rauf is the first person Muslim or otherwise to suggest that US policy has over the years have been a part of the volatile mix that produces extremism (our own intel documents over a couple decades says this), all that matters is that Rauf is a Muslim Imam, on this project, and had the gall to happen to say this one statement almost 10 years ago, this one extrapolated statement is more important than the hundreds of thousands he has uttered before or after, why?  Because they help project him as the “other” figure head of “those” people.

Then let’s throw in CAIR for good measure.  We all know they are up to something right?  Therefore any Muslim loosely affiliated with them is of them and by extension reinforces how entrenched “those” people are who must be stopped.  By this level of madness and guilt by association, I should also be thrown in with Rauf for good measure.  I shook hands with the President of CAIR at CNN once and some members of his group and my group have attended some of the same meetings! Screamin' all  the way down...

No good character assassination ends with just one quote or an association with one vilified group, oh no, you have to stack up the “evidence” so why not attack the entire Sufi sect of Muslims?  They are just about mysterious enough to scare the begeezous out of otherwise reasonable Americans of other faith groups.  Nevermind that as a sect that while small is very diverse and complex and broken into many sub sects themselves, those facts are all too confusing and if facts are presented you might loose a couple of people to your cause.  So instead, go with the tried and true wolf in sheep’s clothing mantra by mixing some generally known facts with some other ones, such as Sufi’s in general are known for their peaceful philosophy, but since some are not then they are all the same, so therefore watch out!  Because we all know it’s not centuries of writing, teaching, literature, etc. that matters, but a couple of loosely related facts!

So of course it then becomes perfectly natural to continue down the path of loosely connected facts, conjecture, smear, etc. by throwing in the very name Cordoba for good measure.  Make up a bunch of stuff about Jewish and Christian oppression, never mention one fact, and of course since we are using the fallacy Ad Verecundiam or Appeal to Authority the readers are supposed to fall in line and accept the entire thing as fact.  Because inconvenient truths such as the laws concerning Jews and Christians in an Islamic State concerning taxes is religious in nature having nothing to do with oppression but the fact that since Zakat is a religious mandate, Islamic law states that you can’t force non-Muslims to follow Muslim practice, so instead the Jizah tax was introduced so that all citizens paid taxes.  One group, Muslims religiously had to do it, the other group, non-Muslims had to do it as a civic duty.  Nevermind, that the very same laws also meant that non-Muslims were exempt from military service and that Muslims were obligated to protect the Jews and Christians and their places of worship.  Nevermind that when Queen Isabella came through she wholesale slaughtered Jews and expelled the Muslims, guess where the Jews ran to for protection from the Inquisition?  I know, I know, facts are unimportant.

So then the author delves into the place where most of his ilk commonly show their true ignorance to the subject:  Shariah.  Not one critic of Islam to date has been willing to have an honest discussion on the subject as doing so would expose them as ignorant on the subject and possibly lessen their grips on the minds of their audience.  Shariah is not some static document that Muslims follow.  It’s a religious term given to a legalistic application of the interpretation of the Qur’an and the Hadith.  There are at least 4 main schools of Sunni jurisprudence and/or methodology followed by at least 10 schools of Aqeeda that further breaks this down.  Every Muslim on Earth has to believe in Shariah in some form or another as it basically means that you believe that laws should be made in accordance to God’s will, AKA the very same thing Christians and Jews believe!  That’s why every Muslim country has different laws and variances on the subject and their legal codes!  But this is just a cute fact and facts have no place in logical fallacies!

The only thing that matters is that Shariah is an Arabic word and terrorists have screamed it several times like Allahu Akbar (but that’s another debate for another day) along with Jihad, etc.  since they have used these terms and of course English speaking Americans who are not Muslim have no understanding of what they mean, then of course it must be up to a bunch of anti-Islam people who are not Muslim to interpret what these terms must mean for non-Muslims, because to actually ask a Muslim or do some research would take too much time and effort.

Once the hysteria is established concerning these words and terms, than all one has to do is attach that word or term to any particular villain of the moment and just like that, instead support and calls for their head!  Nevermind the fact that every Muslim uses these terms, that’s only to be exposed at a later date if they become next on the chopping bloc.

In the final analysis, this article just proves once again the serious nature of the debate and how scary things truly are in America today, when civility is being thrown out and reason is being ignored and being replaced with illogical ranting and reporting to help stir up controversy and ferment angry sentiment toward a particular group or person.  This is no different than what has been done historically to any group or person in the past whether it was to give reason to raze entire cities, burn witches at the stake, start wars, commit genocide, or stir up a lynch mob.

It’s a sad time to be an American when articles like this one are actually taken seriously by otherwise competent adults.

Is Islam under attack?

“The Believer who mixes with people and is patient in the face of their offence is preferable to the believer who does not mix with people and is not patient with their offence.”

“A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue other Muslims are safe.”

“If you see Haram get rid of it with your hand. If you cannot, then fight it with your tongue. And if you cannot, then reject it from your heart, and beyond that is no faith.”
– Prophet Muhammad (saw)

CNN reported tonight as “Breaking News” that Faisal Shahzad allegedly stated that his actions were in response to feeling that Islam is under attack.  I happen to find that statement laughable.  I do agree, Islam is under attack, but in my opinion it’s Muslims like Faisal Shahzad who are attacking Islam.  It is people like Faisal who see the world through blinders and seriously believe that their actions somehow represent the values and teachings of Islam and the rest of us are false.

These people, time after time show that they do not have their fellow Muslims at heart and could care less about how they represent Islam to the masses.  If they were sincere Muslims they would seek the greater Jihad and not the lesser Jihad as a means to change their environment.  They would vie with one another in good works and repel evil with good.  These are the teachings of Islam and the words of Prophet Muhammad (saw).  But these are not the ACTIONS of Faisal and those who subscribe to their wicked ideas.

The problem is what do we do about it?  Do we as Muslims of conscious and faith, who prefer the Greater the Jihad as oppossed to the lesser Jihad, sit back shaking our heads, condemning with our mouths, hating with our hearts, and do nothing with our hands?  Do we continue to wait until another Faisal comes along before we issue another press release or statement?

I believe that we have to act with our hands.  Not in a physical all out war as that would make us no better than those who terrorize in our name, but produce fruits and works that overshadow their evil and overcome their desire to define who we are as a community of believers.  We have to take a stand, reject leaders who defend these actions, open the doors of the Mosques, and stay in front of the message.  Right now the youth do not seek the Imam or the community for guidance, their guidance comes from everywhere else.  They follow the message that will captivate, inspire, and call them to action.  If our places of prayer and education are as stale laboratories lacking passion and inspiration, that’s part of the problem.  The other part is not having those leaders in place that are willing to produce things for their community.  Isolation is not the answer.

We need competent leadership who are not afraid to speak out forcefully against these evil teachings and practices.  We need competent leadership who aren’t afraid to challenge the naysayers who will say that Islam is not a religion of peace or encourage our brothers and sisters to blow themselves up.  We have to have institutions and places that serve the needs of the people both Muslim and non-Muslim.  Where are our afterschool programs, daycare centers, schools, universities, etc.?  These are the traditions and values of Islam, but today they don’t exist.

If we really want to identify the enemy of Islam we need look no further than our reflections.  Every moment we waste not in service to humanity and our ummah, ensuring that all are safe, sheltered, and protected we go against what Islam requires of us.  Every moment we ignore our duties to God to be the shining example to mankind, we become an enemy of Islam.  Every moment we tolerate this plague to fester and enter the minds of our people like Faisal Shahzad, we become the enemies of Islam.

We could go on for years blaming non-Muslims, the West, and Israel and it wouldn’t solve a thing.  The real question we should ask ourselves is “If we were doing all the things Allah (swt) commanded, and our countries and lands were a shining and true reflection of the example of Muhammad (saw), would non-Muslims, the West, or Israel even matter?”

The New York Times Bomber or whatever we are calling him

Talk about sensationalizing an issue!  OK we get it, a Pakistani American did a piss poor job at trying to terrorize Americans in front of The Lion King play (that alone proves he’s evil!) and now we get to read about his exploits 24/7 until something else makes headlines.  Maybe another Tiger Woods mistress will go public!

The typical characters are all over the media playing their part.  You have the Muslim alphabet soup organizations with letters of condemnation, you have Muslim bloggers, writers, and other journalists engaging in the debate about how we as Muslims are perceived do to the actions of idiots like Faisal Shahzad, and of course you have politicians hovering around like vultures seeking to pander to the fringes of their party with cries of denying Miranda Rights and revoking citizenship.

But where does any of this get us?  After the non-stop “reporting” about this guy is over, after the headlines and “important” updates every 15 minutes gets old,  are we ever going to seriously have a discourse on why a 30 year old Pakistani-born American with a wife and kids would get involved with terrorists and try to commit a terrorist act?

Are we truly ready to discuss the issue of terrorism like adults and devoid of prejudices that will blanket label all Muslims and Islam, and focus on the issue of terrorism as it affects all Americans regardless of background?

I mean reality and truth have to win out at some point.  How many journalists reported that the street vendor who alerted the police according to what I have found out was a Senegalese born Muslim?  I guess that’s not sensational enough, because it would introduce a paradox for those who make money off the “big scary Muslims” can’t deal with, that for every idiot there are several reasoned human beings like with most groups that we single out.

At some point Muslims, we have to discuss what we could be doing better to encourage our wayward thinkers to embrace the essence and core values of Islamic thought that speak of moderation, tolerance, righteousness, and high ideals and actions.  At some point we have to discuss what we as a community could be doing better.  I don’t quite think statements and letters of remorse and condemnation are doing the job.

Granted, we can all take a great sigh of relief that no one was hurt and tragedy was averted, Thank God for that.  However, at some point in time, hopefully very soon, we have to mature as a people and decide what it is we all need to do to prevent not just the actions of terrorism, but to remove the mindset that produces the thoughts to commit them.

For now, we can sit back and watch the news cycle enjoying the talking heads and politicians joust for moments to capitalize on the hype.

Personally, I will be joining with that group of Americans who turned to HGTV or something else when they realized that the cable news was not going to talk about something else.  To quote my wife “You would think there is nothing else going on in the world”, I smiled and turned to one of those house-hunting shows.

Feel free to contact me when we are ready to advance the debate beyond the typical routine.